Security forces kills seven Rohingya Muslims in Mayanmar
- Author: Megan Austin Aug 27, 2017,
Aug 27, 2017, 0:58
Terrified civilians tried to flee remote villages in Myanmar's northern Rakhine State for Bangladesh on Saturday afternoon, as clashes which have killed scores continued between suspected Rohingya militants and Myanmar security forces.
In response to the attacks, the police and military initiated clearance operations in northern Rakhine State, displacing more than 70,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh, and facing allegations by worldwide rights groups of atrocities including extrajudicial killings, torture and rape.
Over 20 locations were attacked and around 150 fighters were involved according to a government statement.
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, an insurgent group seeking to create a democratic Muslim state for the ethnic group, said it carried out the attacks in response to "atrocities" and a blockade carried out by the government against Rohingya people.
A security clampdown launched in October a year ago in Maungdaw, where Rohingya form the majority, led to a United Nations report on human rights violations by security forces that indicated crimes against humanity.
Violence has again scorched through the region, leaving at least 92 dead since early Friday and forcing thousands of civilians - Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine - to flee their homes.
In a written statement, Turkish foreign ministry voiced concern over the attacks and said: "We condemn the attacks and emphasize that the problems in Rakhine state can not be resolved through violence".
The night after a series of coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents in northern Rakhine State, frightened residents of one area found themselves trapped by attackers' land mines, and those evacuated from another area gathered in a nearby town patrolled by the army and police. We must not allow our work to be derailed by the violent actions of extremists.
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The Rohingya are denied citizenship and classified as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, despite claiming roots in the region that go back centuries, with communities marginalized and occasionally subjected to communal violence.
"Bangladesh also pointed out that the terrorist attacks and clashes occurred at a time when the Rakhine Advisory Commission, popularly known as Kofi Annan Commission, made recommendations towards a durable solution for the Rakhine state", said the statement.
The situation in the state deteriorated again early this month when security forces began a new "clearance operation" with tension shifting to the township of Rathetaung, where Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya communities live side-by-side.
The Rohingya people have been dubbed "one of the world's most persecuted minorities" by human rights orginisation Amnesty International.
The recent attack escalates the tensions among the Myanmar government, the Rohingyas and the Rakhines.
Unwanted by Myanmar, the Rohingya are unwelcome in Bangladesh, which already hosts tens of thousands of refugees from the Muslim minority.
"25 Aug attack in N Rakine utmost concern!" Last year, the Myanmar army had targeted the militants in the Rakhine State with full force, but it has not helped eliminate the terrorists completely.