Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar have come under attack by a group of Buddhist extremists.
The attack targeted Rohingya Muslims living in the town of Hlegu, located on the outskirts of Myanmar’s main city of Yangon, on Friday.
The anti-Muslim mob of about 100 people threw rocks and sticks at members of the minority and damaged a building. They also attempted to destroy Rohingya homes and shops.
Following the attack, clashes broke out between the two sides, leaving several people including police officers injured.
Last month, violence broke out in Rakhine when hundreds of Buddhists attacked offices of Germany-based medical aid group Malteser International in Sittwe. The Buddhists claimed that one of the group’s workers had mishandled a religious flag.
The Rohingya Muslim community in Myanmar has been persecuted and faced torture and repression since Myanmar’s independence in 1948.
The government of Myanmar announced that the minority would not be allowed to register as “Rohingya” in the country’s first census recently conducted with the help of the United Nations. The Rohingya Muslims account for about five percent of the country’s population of nearly 60 million.
Reports say hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar are suffering from a severe shortage of food and drinking water. Humanitarian aid deliveries have slowed down in Rakhine as a result of an escalation in sectarian violence.
The Myanmar government has been repeatedly criticized by human rights groups for failing to protect the Rohingya Muslims.
According to the United Nations, the Rohingya are one of the world’s most persecuted communities.
Hundreds of Rohingya Muslims have been killed and wounded in months of increased sectarian violence in the country. Thousands of others have been forced to flee their homes.