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Details scarce in Myanmar violence against Rohingya Muslims

Published on Jan 31, 2014 6:08 PM
An immigration officer looks at a display presented by authorities that investigated an alleged massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar's Rakhine state in the Foreign Affairs Minister office in Yangon, on Jan 28, 2013 .The government said it looked into reports by the United Nations and human rights groups, but could find no evidence that any Rohingya Muslims were killed. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK - An incident involving alleged killing of several Rohingya Muslims and one policeman earlier this month remains enveloped in mystery as Myanmar's government is refusing permission to foreign journalists to travel to the area.

Reports emerging from Maungdaw township of Rakhine state suggested that between January 9-13, at least 48 Rohingya Muslims were killed by Rakhine Buddhist mobs and some 70 homes set on fire. One Myanmar policeman was also reportedly killed in the riots.

An International Crisis Group report on Jan 26 said: "Around 49 people are believed to have been killed in two violent incidents between January 9 and 13. The allegations suggest that some of these killings were carried out by the police, and that the victims included women and children."

As news of the killings trickled out of the remote area, United Nation's Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Mr Tomás Ojea Quintana, said in a statement on Jan 17: "I urge the government to clarify what has happened."

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