Burma soldiers ‘burning bodies of Rohingya Muslims’ to conceal evidence

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Rohingya—Soldiers and civil­ians in Burma are attempting to cover up the massacre of the country’s Rohingya Muslim pop­ulation by gathering their bodies and burning them, an advocate for the minority group has said.

 

Chris Lewa, director of the Arakan Project, which monitors violence in Burma’s Rakhine state, said her organisation had documented the killing of at least 130 people in one settlement in the Rathedaung region.

 

She added that there were re­ports of three other villages where “dozens” of people had been killed.

 

“A minimum of 130 people have been killed actually we think it’s more,” she told Newsday on the BBC World Service.

 

“The security forces have encircled villages and then [shot people] indiscriminately, but we also found that – compared per­haps to the violence that took place in October [and] November last year – there is more involve­ment of the local Buddhist popula­tion together with the military.”

 

She added: “We have reports of at least three other villages where at least dozens of people have been killed.”

 

“What we have found … is that now after the killings the mil­itary and other civilians are actu­ally gathering the dead bodies and burning them so [as] not to leave any evidence.”

The reports had not yet been confirmed and the Arakan Proj­ect had not yet carried out de­tailed interviews with victims in Bangladesh, but it had monitors that that were “still active inside Myanmar”, she said.

 

Burmese security officials and insurgents from the Rohingya have accused each other of burn­ing down villages and committing atrocities in Rakhine state.

 

Almost 400 people have died in the recent unrest, with cam­paigners accusing the Burmese military accused of committing crimes against humanity.

 

Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has accused Burma’s forces of genocide

According to the UN’s refugee agency an estimated 73,000 people have crossed the border into Ban­gladesh since violence flared on 25 August, leaving refugee camps near full capacity.

 

The Nobel Peace Prize win­ner Malala Yousafzai has called on Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s de facto leader, to condemn the “trag­ic and shameful” treatment of the Burma’s Muslim Rohingya people.

 

Ms Yousafzai told her fellow laureate that the “world is wait­ing” for her to act over the unrest.

 

Foreign Secretary Boris John­son warned Ms Suu Kyi that the treatment of the ethnic minor­ity group was “besmirching” the country’s reputation.

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