Myanmar aid worker killed by 'terrorists' in Rakhine

YANGON • A local employee with an international aid group in Myanmar's conflict-torn Rakhine state was stabbed to death by "terrorists", the government said yesterday, the latest in a spate of grisly killings blamed on Rohingya militants.

Northern Rakhine has been gripped by crisis ever since the military launched a brutal crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in response to a militant uprising in October last year.

More than 75,000 Rohingya fled the army campaign, which United Nations investigators say was so ruthless that it may amount to a crime against humanity.

While the region has stabilised in recent months, the government has documented at least 60 cases of civilian murders or abductions since October, with an uptick in recent weeks.

Most killings have targeted local leaders or other suspected collaborators with the state.

Yesterday, the government said a local aid worker in northern Rakhine was dragged out of his home last Thursday and hacked to death by "about 10 terrorists wearing black masks and holding hatchets and knives".

While the region has stabilised in recent months, the government has documented at least 60 cases of civilian murders or abductions since October, with an uptick in recent weeks.

The victim, 34-year-old Nu Islam, worked for Community and Family Services International, a humanitarian group based in the Philippines.

The group is working on child protection and education services in northern Rakhine, according to the statement from the office of Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

In recent weeks, a Twitter account that claims to represent the militants, known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa), denied responsibility for the killings and accused the Myanmar authorities of trying to discredit their movement.

Arsa says it is fighting for the political rights of the Rohingya, a stateless Muslim minority, who have endured years of discrimination and persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 02, 2017, with the headline 'Myanmar aid worker killed by 'terrorists' in Rakhine'. Print Edition | Subscribe