Myanmar security forces admit participating in killing of 10 Rohingya


Myanmar security forces took part in a massacre of 10 Rohingya in September, the army chief's office said late Wednesday, as it admitted for the first time abuses during a crackdown that sparked a mass exodus of the Muslim minority.

The massacre took place on 2 September in the village of Inn Din in Rakhine state, the Facebook post said, as tensions escalated, pitting Rohingya against security forces and ethnic Rakhine locals following the killing of a Rakhine man.

"Some villagers from Inn Din village and security members confessed they killed 10 Bengali terrorists," the office said in its post, using a pejorative term for Rohingya and blaming militants for causing the unrest in the village.

The post also gave the first confirmation of a mass Rohingya grave inside Rakhine state following an army-led crackdown on militants from the minority group in late August.

Refugees who have fled in their hundreds of thousands to neighbouring Bangladesh have given consistent accounts of massacres, rape and torture by Myanmar security forces flanked by ethnic Rakhine mobs.

Those allegations, which have been cross-checked by media and rights groups, have seen Myanmar accused of ethnic cleansing by the US and UN and prompted questions over whether the crackdown may have amounted to genocide.

But Myanmar's army has until now staunchly rebutted allegations of misconduct, clearing itself of any wrongdoing in an internal probe.

In its account of the Inn Din massacre, the army chief's office said security forces captured 10 Rohingya militants before killing them as violence engulfed the village and its surrounding area.

"Action will be taken according to the law against villagers who were involved and security members who broke the Rules of Engagement," the post added.

Much of Myanmar's Buddhist-majority population supports the army in what it calls a justified campaign against Rohingya militants, after their attacks on border guard police killed about a dozen people last August. (AFP)

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