RELIGION

Yangon mob forces closure of Muslim schools in Myanmar

Ultra-nationalist Buddhist monks and their supporters have forced the closing of two Muslim schools in Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city, in a reminder that religious strife remains a threat to the country's stability.

About a dozen monks and scores of supporters gathered Friday afternoon near the two Muslim madrassas while police stood by as protesters demanded that local officials close the buildings. The raucous three-hour gathering ended when officials agreed to allow them to chain the entrances of the two buildings, which the protesters claim were built illegally.

Tensions between Myanmar's overwhelmingly Buddhist population and the Muslim minority spread after violent conflict broke out between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya in 2012 in western Rakhine state, where the Rohingya are accused of being illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.