Religious clashes continued to spread through Burma late on Monday night, as Muslim homes and businesses in two townships of Pegu division were ransacked by Buddhist mobs numbering in their hundreds.

Earlier on Monday evening in another Pegu town, Oak Pho, a mob of around 200 people destroyed Muslim homes and a mosque before being restrained by riot police who fired rubber bullets into the crowd, injuring nine people.

The latest eruption of violence comes after sectarian riots kicked off in central Burma’s Meikhtila township last week – leaving at least 40 people dead and uprooting more than 12,000 people.

Last Friday, President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency in the township and called on the Burmese military to restore order in the riot-hit area.

While the military seems to have been successful in bringing peace to the area, mobs have continued to target Muslim businesses, homes and mosques across the country’s heartland.

The large-scale rioting that kicked off in central Burma has been the largest explosion of communal violence since two separate bouts of unrest rocked Arakan state last year and divided communities and displaced more than 125,000 people.

2013.03.26 DVB - Sectarian violence