Myanmar army admits Rohingya killings

Rohingya refugees

Soldiers and villagers were involved in the killings of "Bengali terrorists" and legal action would be taken against them, said the statement on the Facebook page of Min Aung Hlaing, the military's commander-in-chief, quotes Al-Jazeera. The executed Rohingya were reportedly forced to dig their own grave at gunpoint by both government forces and Burmese villagers.

Myanmar's civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has no control over the military, but has faced fierce global criticism for failing to do more to protect the Rohingya.

The 10 corpses were found in December 2016 in a mass grave near a cemetery in Inn Din village.

Four members of the security forces also opened fire.

In its account of the Inn Din massacre the army chief's office said security forces captured 10 Rohingya militants before killing them as violence engulfed the village and its surrounding area.

The military claimed they had rushed to Inn Din to protect frightened Buddhist villagers and had been attacked by "200 Bengalis" with sticks and swords, 10 of whom were arrested and accused of having links to terrorists.

Asked at a joint news conference with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono about the rare admission of wrongdoing by the military, known as the Tatmadaw, Suu Kyi said: "The Tatmadaw investigated and will take necessary action on that".

The captives should have been handed over to the police, in line with procedure, but the militants were attacking "continuously" and had destroyed two military vehicles with explosives, it said.

Although the Rohingya consider themselves an ethnic minority of Myanmar, numerous Buddhist majority consider them illegal foreigners from Bangladesh.

Many refugees start at transit centres set up along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border before they are brought to the main refugee camps in Cox's Bazar.

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.

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 army's unprecedented acknowledgement came after months of denial of any wrongdoing towards the persecuted Rohingya minority.

The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation said the admission substantiated allegations made by human rights groups and the United Nations of ethnic cleansing against "the most persecuted Rohingya people".

Related:

Comments

Latest news

NC Governor Cooper Seeks Offshore Drilling Exemption
On Jan. 4, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke released the Trump Administration's long-awaited offshore drilling proposal . Instead, the Trump administration is willfully ignoring this opposition and the formal requests of North Carolina Gov.

Tunisia's PM seeks to calm protests
The protests draw on anger over price and tax increases included in this year's budget that took effect on January 1. The army was deployed into towns across the country to protect government buildings, which have become targets.

Trump Touts Rural Broadband Initiative, Farm Agenda
The task force heard from farmers that broadband internet access is an issue of vital concern to their communities and businesses. The president used the campaign-style appearance to again tout the tax reform plan he signed into law last month.

F1 sees distinguished manufacturers make a welcome return
It would also be nice to see a more competitive side to the sport, which usually sees one side dominate the entire season. The team is looking at Charles Leclerc from Ferrari, Marcus Ericsson or Antonio Giovinazzi who is a reserve for Ferrari.

Other news