Bangladesh blames Muslim Rohingyas for temple attacks

By REUTERS
October 1, 2012 12:28

 
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DHAKA - Bangladesh accused Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar on Monday of involvement in attacks on Buddhist temples and homes in the southeast and said the violence was triggered by a photo posted on Facebook that insulted Islam.

Thousands of Muslims went on a rampage in Buddhist areas of Bangladesh near the border on Saturday, setting ablaze more than a dozen temples and monasteries and at least 50 homes. Property was looted, including statues of the Buddha.

"The attacks on temples and houses in Buddhist localities in Ramu and neighbouring areas in Cox's Bazar (district) were perpetrated by radical Islamists," Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir told reporters in Dhaka.

"Rohingyas and political opponents of the government were also involved in the attacks."

He described the attacks as a "premeditated and deliberate attempt" to disrupt communal harmony.

It was one of the worst sectarian attacks in Bangladesh, spreading fear throughout the Buddhist minority.

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