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Myanmar relocates hundreds of residents from Muslim ghetto to refugee camps

Hundreds of Muslims trapped in ghetto-like conditions in western Myanmar after their homes were torched by Buddhist-mobs last year have been moved to a camp for internally displaced people.

Government spokesman Win Myaing said the relocation Saturday from Aung Mingalar quarter in Sittwe township was voluntary. But a well-known activist, Aung Win, said many of the families were unhappy about the move.

Win Myaing said 577 people who lost their homes during June 2012 sectarian violence were taken to camps outside of Sittwe, with more relocations planned for Sunday.

He said thousands of people who didn't lose their homes would remain in Aung Mingalar.

People in Aung Mingalar, a Muslim quarter in Sittwe, have been living under harsh conditions, with police blocking almost all entry and exit into the neighborhood.