Thursday, June 21, 2018

Electrical fire kills 13 children in Myanmar

YANGON, Myanmar — Police in Myanmar say 13 children died when an electrical fire broke out at a mosque in the country's largest city.

Police officer Thet Lwin said the blaze early Tuesday in Yangon was triggered by an overheated inverter "and not due to any criminal activity."

Myanmar has been on edge after sectarian violence between Buddhists and Muslims erupted in the central city of Meikhtila in March, killing dozens of people and displacing more than 10,000.

Thet Lwin says the mosque in eastern Yangon sheltered about 75 orphans, and most escaped unharmed by running out of a door after police knocked it open.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze and the two-story building was charred but intact.

Private newspapers reappear in Myanmar

Myanmar's decades-long state monopoly on daily newspapers was broken Monday as four privately owned dailies launched. There have been no privately owned dailies in the country since it came under military rule in the 1960s.

President Thein Sein took office in March 2011 as head of an elected civilian regime. Political and economic liberalization were at the top of his agenda, leading to approvals for 16 papers, including dailies to be put out by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party and Thein Sein's ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party.

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