By HTUN KHAING | FRONTIER
YANGON — Police have detained at least four people after a crowd attacked Muslim houses and shopfronts in Magway Region on Sunday night.
According to the government’s Information Committee, a riot broke out when at least 50 young men pelted a house in Taungdwingyi with stones fired from slingshots.
The crowd then moved through the town’s Shwe Kyar Inn (1) ward, attacking several homes and destroying shopfronts along the path while singing the Myanmar national anthem. Police successfully dispersed the crowd outside the local mosque before the building could be damaged.
Police confirmed Monday that Hnin Ko Ko Lynn, 30, was arrested on suspicion of leading the riot that evening. Another three were arrested the following morning.
Local Pyithu Hluttaw representative U Min Thein (National League for Democracy, Taungdwingyi) said police and locals believed that the four suspects and the occupant of the first besieged home had an existing dispute, and the riot leaders had attempted to build support by inciting religious tensions.
“I think it was the first time in Taungdwingyi,” he said. “I have never seen religious conflict here before. Both communities have been peaceful.”
Although some shops have yet to reopen, authorities say the situation is now calm. Magway Chief Minister U Aung Moe Nyo visited the town on Monday to promise more security in the town.