Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Burmese army admits to killing Rohingya

Burmese army admits to killing Rohingya

Myanmar's military said it was involved in the killings of 10 Muslims found in a mass grave last month in restive Rakhine state, its first admission of wrongdoing in a conflict that the us labeled ethnic cleansing and which displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

The United Nations however, has called Myanmar military's campaign against the Rohingya a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

The military of Myanmar has admitted that its soldiers killed 10 captured Rohingya Muslims, who they labelled "terrorists". Previous internal inquiries have cleared the military of wrongdoing in Rakhine state, where an extensive campaign of violence has driven more than 650,000 Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh. Until now, the military has maintained that it is carrying out legitimate counterinsurgency operations.

The village of Inn Din previously featured in a chilling report by Amnesty International, which contains eyewitness accounts from seven villagers who described how vigilantes and the military looted and burned homes and shot people as they fled. The army appointed a senior officer to investigate.

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A statement posted on the official Facebook page of the Burmese armed forces sets out details of the killing of alleged Rohingya militants, who have launched small-scale attacks on security forces.

Myanmar terms Rohingya Muslims as Bengalis and does not recognise them as one of its ethnic groups.

Ten of the attackers were captured after the security forces drove the rest off by firing into the air, according to the statement. This meant that "there were no conditions to transfer the 10 Bengali terrorists to the police station and so it was chose to kill them". "This incident happened because ethnic Buddhist villagers were threatened and provoked by the terrorists".

Four members of the security forces also opened fire.

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Rohingya refugees jostle as they line up for a blanket distribution under heavy rainfall at the Balukhali camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, on Dec 11, 2017.

Anti-Rohingya sentiment is high not only among the military, but the general population, among whom a form of Buddhist nationalism has seen a resurgence since the end of military rule.

Amnesty International had documented "overwhelming evidence" in villages across the area that the "military has murdered and raped Rohingya, and burnt their villages to the ground", James Gomez, Amnesty International's regional director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said in a statement released on Wednesday.

The captives should have been handed over to police, the army statement said, but with militants mounting continuous attacks and destroying two military vehicles, "there were no conditions to transfer the 10 Bengali terrorists to the police station and so it was chose to kill them".

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