Myanmar's President has declared a state of emergency in a central town where at least 20 people have been killed in violence between Buddhists and Muslims.
The president made the announcement in a statement broadcast on state television today.
The trouble started on Wednesday after an argument broke out between a Muslim gold shop owner and his Buddhist customers.
A Buddhist monk was among the first killed, inflaming tensions that led a Buddhist mob to rampage through a Muslim neighbourhood in the central district of Meikhtila.
Mosques have been burned and houses of Muslim residents destroyed. Angry Buddhist residents and monks prevented authorities from putting out the blazes.
Police have been seizing knives, swords, hammers and sticks from young men in the streets and detained scores of looters in an attempt to clamp down on the violence.
A major earthquake in central Burma on Sunday near Mandalay has killed five people, Reuters reports.
Several construction workers have also been reported missing following the 6.6 magnitude quake.
A major earthquake measuring 7.0 magnitude struck Myanmar on Sunday, around 60 km (37 miles) north west of the city of Mandalay, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries from the quake.
Residents from Mandalay, the second biggest commercial city in central Myanmar, told Reuters that they felt a very strong tremor at about 7:30 a.m.
Burma's ethnic Rohingya Muslims shouted slogans during a protest rally in Malaysia outside the Burma embassy. The communal violence that swept through a western state of Burma over the past week killed 29 people, according to local authorities.