Mandalay regional government said it will imminently lift a curfew that was imposed in seven townships across the city at the beginning of July following deadly communal mob violence.
“A formal announcement will follow soon,” said regional government secretary Ohn Lwin. “It has been sent to the relative government officials for approval.”
The curfew is to be revoked as stability and calm have returned to the city, he added, referring to two nights of violence when two persons – one Buddhist, one Muslim – were killed.
The curfew was initially imposed on 3 July between 9pm and 5am in six Mandalay townships. The following day, it was extended to one more township.
On 21 July, authorities reduced the curfew hours from 9pm to 3am. It was further relaxed on 28 July, from 10pm to 3am.
The violence kicked off after a blogger, who writes under the name Thit Htoo Lwin, posted an article on 30 June accusing two Muslim owners of a teashop in the city’s Chan Aye Tharzan Township of raping a Buddhist woman, who he said was their maid.
The story was picked up by several websites, and nationalist monk Wirathu posted it to his Facebook page.
The post was hastily removed, and later proved to be false. However, on the evening of 1 July, a gang of local Buddhist men carrying makeshift weapons – and accompanied by monks – ran riot through the neighbourhood on motorbikes, attacking properties, businesses and vehicles they presumed to be Muslim-owned.
On 3 July, a Muslim man on this way to morning prayers was attacked by a mob and killed. A revenge attack by a Muslim mob followed, leaving a Buddhist man dead.