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At least 20 dead, 5 mosques torched in Buddhist-Muslim rioting in central Myanmar

A lawmaker says at least 20 people have died in two days of rioting between Buddhists and Muslims in a central Myanmar town where residents remained locked in their homes, too afraid to walk the streets.

Opposition National League for Democracy lawmaker Win Htein told The Associated Press by telephone Friday that at least five mosques were burned down since the violence started Wednesday in the town of Meikhtila.

He said there was no immediate sign of fresh violence but the situation remained tense.

He said fires continued to burn but angry Buddhist residents and monks prevented authorities from putting out fires set to Muslim homes.

The violence was the latest sectarian unrest after clashes in western Rakhine state last year left more than 200 dead.