Myanmar's President Thein Sein has admitted that an extraordinary wave of ethnic and sectarian violence has targeted Rohingya Muslims in the west of the Southeast Asian country.
Policemen walk toward burning buildings in Sittwe, capital of Rakhine state in western Myanmar. (File photo)
"There have been incidents of whole villages and parts of the towns being burnt down in Rakhine state," Thein Sein's spokesman said on Saturday.
"If necessary, we will send more police and military troops in order to get back stability," presidential spokesman Zaw Htay added.
Earlier on Saturday, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch issued separate statements, calling for Myanmar to take action to protect Rohingya Muslim population.
Human Rights Watch issued satellite pictures showing extensive destruction in a predominantly Rohingya area n Myanmar's coastal town of Kyauk Pyu. It said the victims were mostly Rohingya Muslims, who were targeted by non-Muslims.
The New York-based international organization stated that the area of destruction measures 35 acres, and includes 633 buildings and 178 houseboats as well as floating barges.
Earlier in the day, the office of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement, saying, "The vigilante attacks, targeted threats, and extremist rhetoric must be stopped."
Sectarian violence re-emerged between Arakan Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims on October 21 and continued all week in at least five townships of Minbya, Mrak-U, Myebon, Rathedaung, and Kyauk Pyu.
Rakhine state spokesman Win Myaing said on Friday that 112 people had been killed in the latest clashes between members of the Buddhist Rakhine and the Muslim Rohingya communities. He said 72 people were reported injured, including 10 children.
The Myanmar government says more than 2,800 houses were burned down in the violence.
Communal violence and related abuses by state security forces against Rohingya Muslims began in early June.
Myanmar refuses to recognize Rohingyas as Myanmarese citizens and classifies them as illegal migrants, although the Rohingyas have resided in the country for centuries.