MANDALAY, Myanmar: Two men were killed in a second night of rioting in Mandalay, Myanmar's second-largest city, a security official said on Thursday, the latest flare-up in two years of sectarian unrest between Buddhists and Muslims that threatens fledgling reforms.
A Buddhist and a Muslim were killed and 14 people were injured, Aung Kyaw Oo, an army colonel in charge of security in the Mandalay region, told reporters on Thursday.
Reuters reporters saw a heavy police presence on the streets of Mandalay, a city of about a million people in central Myanmar.
Aung Kyaw Oo said police had arrested four people on Wednesday after the first night of rioting, which began late on Tuesday after reports circulated on the Internet that the Muslim owner of a tea shop had raped a Buddhist woman.
Five people were injured on the first night of rioting, police said.
The government of President Thein Sein launched sweeping political and economic reforms after taking power in 2011 following 49 years of military rule.
However, it has struggled to contain outbreaks of ant-Muslim violence in which at least 240 people have been killed since June 2012.
Most victims were members of Myanmar's Muslim minority, estimated to be about 5 percent of the population.
A senior police officer in the capital, Naypyitaw, told Reuters that charges of rape had been filed against the tea shop owner and his brother at a police station in Pyinmana, a town about halfway between Mandalay and Naypyitaw where the rape allegedly took place. (Reuters)