Myanmar army admits Rohingya killings

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A statement on the military commander-in-chief's Facebook page said the Rohingya found in the mass grave had threatened Buddhist villagers and were killed in retaliation.

10 #Rohingya villagers killed by #Myanmar military & #Rakhine villagers were arrested from this place on August 31, 2017.

In the past, the military has retaliated against Rohingya villages following such attacks.

"The US State Department, the UN, Amnesty International and Malaysia have all described actions taken against the Rohingya as "ethnic cleansing" as well as systematic crimes against humanity".

Four members of the security forces also opened fire.

Asked if the revelations about the killing at the village of Inn Din, about 50 km (30 miles) north of the state capital Sittwe, could be a concern for refugees who are being asked to return, Suu Kyi said: "Some people might be afraid, but this is not something that has happened right now".

According to the inquiry, the 10 Rohingya were arrested as part of a "clearance operation" after security forces were reportedly attacked by a group of about 200 on September 1.

His words echoed a comment from the spokesperson from the Office of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Myanmar yesterday, who said: "The (military) statement underscores the need for an independent investigation and media reporting on allegations of such human rights violations".

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"It was found that there were no conditions to transfer the 10 Bengali terrorists to the police station and so it was made a decision to kill them", the military said, referring to the findings of the investigating team.

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

According to United Nations estimates, more than 655,000 Rohingya Muslims crossed into Bangladesh after the Myanmar army launched a crackdown on suspected Muslim insurgents blamed for carrying out attacks on security posts in restive Rakhine state on August 25.

Angry ethnic Rakhine Buddhist villagers, who had lost relatives in militant attacks, wanted to kill the captives, and stabbed them after forcing them into a grave on the outskirts of the village.

Human rights organization Amnesty International claimed the admission exposes the extrajudicial killings of Rohingya, marking a "sharp departure from the army's policy of blanket denial of any wrongdoing".

"However, it is only the tip of the iceberg and warrants serious independent investigation into what other atrocities were committed", he said in a statement.

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.

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