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June 23, 2017

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2 arrested in new sectarian unrest in Myanmar's north

YANGON -- Two Buddhists have been arrested after Muslim shops were destroyed in northern Kachin State, police said Saturday, in a new outbreak of religious violence.

Myanmar is in the grip of acute religious tension after a deadly wave of unrest in March that saw monks and Buddhist mobs attack Muslim areas in violence that has edged towards the country's main city Yangon.

But it is the first time similar violence has been reported in the majority - Christian Kachin State, which is also home to a patchwork of ethnic and religious groups who have found work in the jade and timber industries.

"We arrested two people at the scene ... and are still interrogating them. We will charge them if there is enough evidence," a police official in Kachin State told AFP, speaking anonymously, following Thursday night's violence.

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