Stabbing sparks riot and rape in Suriname town

A stabbing death in a Suriname border town set off rioting that targeted foreign workers, with at least 20 women raped.

More than 120 people had to be evacuated from Albina, the government said.

The riot began late on Thursday and escalated on Friday after a Brazilian allegedly stabbed a local man to death, justice and police minister Chandrikapersad Santokhi said.

Townspeople began attacking Brazilians working in Albina about an hour after the killing and the violence spread to Chinese-owned businesses, officials said.

Businesses were looted and several stores were burned.

At least 20 Brazilian women were raped and more than 120 Brazilians and Chinese took refuge at a military compound, the justice minister said.

He said the people sheltered at the army post were being transferred to the capital Paramaribo

About a dozen people suffered injuries, with some being taken to neighbouring French Guiana for treatment. Four people have been arrested, including the murder suspect.

Army colonel Ernst Mercuur, who visited Albina on Friday, said soldiers had quelled the violence.

Suriname is a normally tranquil former Dutch colony on the north-eastern shoulder of South America and home to about 480,000 people.

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