Naypyidaw, Jan 17: At least nine people were killed and 12 others injured during overnight clashes with police trying to clear a protest in restive southwest Myanmar, from where hundreds of thousands of members of the mostly Muslim Rohingya minority have fled an Army campaign.
The police fired on the crowd on Tuesday night when the protesters surrounded a police station in Mrauk-U after authorities had banned the public gathering, Efe news reported.
The demonstrators were commemorating the loss of the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Mrauk-U, in Rakhine, which in 1785 was occupied by troops from Mandalay, the seat of Myanmar monarchy at the time.
The injured were taken to a hospital in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state.
Rakhine, one of the poorest states in Myanmar, is also home to the Rohingya community, the victims of an ethnic cleansing campaign led by the Myanmar Army, according to the UN.
The alleged persecution has forced more than 700,000 Rohingyas to flee in the last year and a half to neighbouring Bangladesh as refugees.