Fri, Jan 12, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Troops killed 10 captured Rohingya, Myanmar says

Reuters, YANGON, Myanmar

The Burmese military said its soldiers had murdered 10 captured Muslim “terrorists” during insurgent attacks at the beginning of September last year, after Buddhist villagers had forced the captured men into a grave they had dug.

“Villagers and members of the security forces have confessed that they committed murder,” the military said in a statement on Wednesday.

It was a rare admission of wrongdoing by the military during its operations in the western state of Rakhine.

The military announced on Dec. 18 last year that a mass grave containing 10 bodies had been found in the coastal village of Inn Din, about 50km north of the state capital Sittwe.

The military on Wednesday said its investigation had found that members of the security forces had killed the 10 and that action would be taken against them.

Security forces had been conducting a “clearance operation” in the area on Sept. 1 last year when “200 Bengali terrorists attacked using sticks and swords,” the military said in a statement.

The military refers to members of the Rohingya Muslim minority as “Bengalis,” a term the Rohingya reject.

Ten of the attackers were captured after the security forces drove the rest off by firing into the air, the statement said.

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

“It was found that there were no conditions to transfer the 10 Bengali terrorists to the police station and so it was decided to kill them,” the military said, referring to the findings of the investigation.

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. Then members of the security forces shot them dead, the military said.

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