United Nations condemns terrorist attacks in Myanmar's northern state

26 August, 2017, 01:29 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Myanmar officers killed at least seven Rohingya militants during the attacks

At least 32 people, including 11 security personnel, were killed in terror attacks on police posts in Myanmar's Rakhine state on Friday, the army said in a statement.

It earlier said clashes broke out in Maungdaw district of northern Rakhine around 1 a.m. when "extremist Bengali terrorists" attacked security outposts and police stations in 24 separate locations in the area, which is mostly populated by minority Rohingya Muslims.

The attacks were claimed by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which said it was retaliating to an ongoing Army offensive in the region.

"These attacks are a unsafe escalation in violence and could put ordinary people in Rakhine State at risk, in particular as tensions have been reaching a boiling point in the region recently, said Josef Benedict, the human-rights organisation's deputy campaigns director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific".

"There is no time to lose, the situation in Rakhine State is becoming more precarious".

But the army and Aung San Suu Kyi's civilian government vehemently deny allegations of widespread abuses, including rapes and murders.

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Last October, a group of Rohingya militants killed nine police officers, escalating the level of violence in a long-running conflict.

The morning attack took place hours after a panel led by the former United Nations chief Kofi Annan advised the government on long-term solutions for the violence-riven state.

The military said about 150 Rohingya attacked an army base in Taung Bazar village in Buthidaung township.

Annan condemned the attack and said it marked a "worrying escalation of violence".

Both the British and the US embassies also released statements denouncing the attacks, with the US Embassy adding: "We also urge all communities to ensure their rhetoric and their actions contribute to restoration of peace and stability".

Dozens have been killed in the ongoing clashes between Rohingya militants and Myanmar security forces.

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Friday's violence pushed more Rohingya to leave, with two boats containing around 150 women, children and elderly people attempting to cross the Naf river into Bangladesh.

"We have been taking our defensive actions against the Burmese marauding forces in more than 25 different places across the region".

Kamal Hossain, a Rohingya elder in another, camp, said almost 700 families had arrived in Bangladesh in the past 11 days.

The border guards stopped and sent back, with water and food, 146 Rohingyas to Myanmar on Thursday night.

Mohammed Shafi, who lives in a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh, said his cousin in Myanmar had told him of the trouble.

Amnesty International said there were now fears over how Myanmar's notoriously abusive security forces might respond.

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