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Tense calm returns to Myanmar town after Buddhists torch Muslim homes

A tense calm has returned to a northwestern Myanmar town that was ripped apart by sectarian violence that left hundreds homeless after Buddhist mobs torched Muslim-owned houses and business.

Opposition lawmaker Myint Naing said Monday that security forces were guarding the mosque in Htan Gone where some terrified victims sought refuge during the weekend attack. He said 12 people have been arrested.

The predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million has been grappling with religious violence since the country's military rulers handed over power to a nominally civilian government in 2011.

The unrest has killed more than 250 people and left 140,000 others displaced in the last year. It began in the western state of Rakhine in June 2012.