Mon, Nov 19, 2012 - Page 5 News List

Myanmar forces joined attacks: HRW

DIPLOMATIC DISTRACTION:In a letter to the UN, Burmese President Thein Sein pledged to consider new rights for the Rohingya, but gave no timeline for his plans

AP, BANGKOK

It had earlier released similar images of Kyaukphyu township, where ethnic Kaman Muslims were also forced to flee, indicating the conflict has widened.

While Muslim zones in those areas were destroyed, one village in Mrauk-U called Yan Thei was almost 100 percent destroyed.

Human Rights Watch cited witnesses as saying that mobs of Buddhist Rakhine “armed with swords, spears, homemade guns, bows and arrows and other weapons descended on the village on Oct. 23, and fighting ensued.”

“The Rohingya were ultimately surrounded and overwhelmed, and survivors fled by land to an area outside the village,” the rights group said. “Gruesome casualties were sustained on both sides, including beheadings and killings of women and children.”

According to the report, displaced Rohingya and Kaman Muslims also said some state security forces fired shots in the air to fend off mobs and provided water and food to them on their offshore boats after they were initially denied permission to come ashore in the regional capital, Sittwe.

Authorities were concerned their arrival could overwhelm already packed displacement camps.

“But these instances of protection were offset by violence committed against the Rohingya and Kaman by other groups of security forces,” the rights group said.

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