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State of emergency declared as death toll rises to 20 in Myanmar religious riots
Burnt houses are seen in Meikhtila on March 21, 2013.Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters
By The Associated Press
MEIKHTILA, Myanmar — Myanmar President Thein Sein has declared a state of emergency in a central town where at least 20 people have been killed in violence between Buddhists and Muslims.
Burning fires from two days of Buddhist-Muslim violence smoldered across Meikhtila on Friday as residents cowered indoors amid growing fears the country's latest bout of sectarian bloodshed could spread.
The government's struggle to contain the unrest is proving another major challenge to Thein Sein's reformist administration as it attempts to chart a path to democracy after nearly half a century of military rule that once crushed all dissent. Read the full story.