Dozens of people have been killed in a surge in sectarian violence in Myanmar, an official said Tuesday, as international pressure grew for an end to the bloodshed. A state of emergency has been declared in western Rakhine state, which has been rocked by a wave of rioting and arson, posing a major test for the reformist government which took power last year. “About 25 people have been killed during the unrest,” a senior government official told AFP, requesting anonymity. He did not give details of how they died or whether they were Buddhists or Muslims. A further 41 people were wounded in five days of unrest, he said. The death toll does not include 10 Muslims who were killed on June 3 by a Buddhist mob in apparent revenge for the rape and murder of a woman, which sparked the violence in Rakhine. Rights organisations fear the number of people killed could be much higher than the official figure. AFP reporters have been unable to visit many of the affected areas for security reasons. Gunfire rattled the state capital Sittwe on Tuesday and there was a heavy security presence, according to an AFP reporter. Plumes of smoke rose from…
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