Soldiers, cops face action over Rohingya killings: Myanmar

NAYPYIDAW • Action will be taken against 10 members of Myanmar's security forces in connection with the killing of captured Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state, a government spokesman said yesterday, adding that it was not related to a Reuters report on the incident.

Reuters news agency on Friday published a report laying out events that led up to the killing, in the northern Rakhine village of Inn Din, of 10 Rohingya men who were buried in a mass grave after being hacked to death or shot by Buddhist neighbours and soldiers.

Myanmar government spokesman Zaw Htay said "action according to the law" would be taken against seven soldiers, three members of the police force and six villagers as part of an army investigation that was initiated before the Reuters report was published.

The arrests were "not because of Reuters news. The investigation was being conducted even before Reuters news", Mr Zaw Htay said, adding that he was unable to specify what action would be taken.

On Jan 10, the military said the 10 Rohingya belonged to a group of 200 "terrorists" who had attacked security forces. Buddhist villagers attacked some of them with swords and soldiers shot the others dead, the military said, adding that it would take action against those involved.

The military's version of events is contradicted by accounts given to Reuters by Rakhine Buddhist and Rohingya Muslim witnesses.

Buddhist villagers reported no attack by a large number of insurgents on security forces in Inn Din. And Rohingya witnesses told Reuters that soldiers plucked the 10 from among hundreds of men, women and children who had sought safety on a nearby beach.

British foreign minister Boris Johnson met Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday to press for action, following his visit to a refugee camp in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar district. Nearly 690,000 Rohingya have fled Rakhine and crossed into Bangladesh since August.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 12, 2018, with the headline 'Soldiers, cops face action over Rohingya killings: Myanmar'. Print Edition | Subscribe