ARSA denies killing 28 Myanmar Hindus

Prothom Alo English | Update:

Myanmar government forces said they found the bodies of 28 Hindu villagers on Sunday, who authorities suspect were killed by Muslim insurgents last month, The Guardian newspaper reports quoting Reuters.

Quoting Myanmar authorities the report said the incident had taken place at the beginning of a violent clashes that sent 430,000 Muslim Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh.

However, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army group, which was being blamed for the incident, denied killing the Hindus saying it did not attack civilians.

The latest violence in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state began on 25 August when, as reports said, ARSA militants attacked about 30 police posts and an army camp, killing about 12 people.

The report mentioned that the United Nations has described as ethnic cleansing a sweeping government offensive in the north of Rakhine state in response to those attacks.

The government of Buddhist-majority Myanmar has reportedly said more than 400 people have been killed, most of them insurgents. It rejects accusations of ethnic cleansing, saying it is fighting terrorists.

Members of the small Hindu minority appear to have been caught in the middle, said the report. Some have reportedly fled to Bangladesh, complaining of violence against them by soldiers or Buddhist vigilantes. Others have complained of being attacked by the insurgents on suspicion of being government spies, the report added.

According to the report, the government said a search was mounted near Ye Baw Kya village in the north of Rakhine state after a refugee in Bangladesh contacted a Hindu community leader in Myanmar. The refugee was quoted to have said about 300 ARSA militants had marched about 100 people out of the village on 25 August and killed them.

“They forced eight female villagers to convert to the Islamic religion and took them to Bangladesh,” the newspaper quoted the Myanmar government as saying.

Access to the area by journalists as well as human rights workers and aid workers is largely restricted and Reuters could not independently verify the report.

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