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Myanmar's president lifts emergency order in townships gripped by sectarian violence

Myanmar's president has lifted a state of emergency put in place in the central part of the country after Buddhist-led mobs went on a rampage, killing dozens of Muslims and burning down their shops and homes.

President Thein Sein has sought during a European tour to assure that sectarian violence gripping Myanmar in the last year is under control.

The state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper said the decision to lift the 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew in the battle-scarred townships of Meikhtila, Mahlaing, Wundwin and Thazi on Saturday indicates "peace and stability" have been restored.

The violence in Meikhtila was sparked by a quarrel at a Muslim-owned gold shop March 20. Violence escalated after a Buddhist monk was killed near a mosque. At least 44 people were killed.