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Myanmar riot: 18 suspects arrested

Yangon, March 25 - Myanmar police have arrested 18 suspects in connection with a riot that killed at least 32 people and which left over 9,600 homeless, the information ministry said.

Ten other suspects are being hunted down for the riot in Meikhtila in northern Mandalay region that took place March 20 to 22, Xinhua reported.

Sources said 17 other suspects linked with arson in Yamethin, about 54 km from Meikhtila, were also detained by police.

Dozens of houses and religious buildings were reportedly set on fire in Yamethin Saturday night.

The situation in Meikthila has remained calm since President U Thein Sein declared a state of emergency and deployed armed forces to deal with the riot.

Relief and rehabilitation work have been underway in the riot-hit areas where six relief camps have been set up.

The riot was sparked by a brawl between Buddhist buyers and a Muslim shopkeeper at a gold shop. In the riot, 152 houses and 13 religious buildings were burnt and two motor vehicles and three motorcycles were destroyed, according to official sources. (IANS)