HRW denounces killing of dozens of Rohingyas

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Bangkok, Oct 4 (IANS/EFE) Human Rights Watch denounced on Wednesday the killings of dozens of Rohingyas in a Myanmar Army offensive on August 27 in the northwestern state of Rakhine.

Witnesses and survivors told HRW that the soldiers shot, stabbed, sexually assaulted and beat up several hundreds of Rohingyas who had sought refuge in a complex in Maung Nu village in Rakhine.

Several soldiers had encircled the enclosure while others entered and “took several dozen Rohingya men and boys into the courtyard and then shot or stabbed them to death”, said the organization in a statement.

“Others were killed as they tried to flee. The soldiers then loaded the bodies – some witnesses said a hundred or more – into military trucks and took them away,” it added.

Satellite images of Maung Nu and neighbouring Hpaung Taw showed the “near total destruction” of both villages and the remains analyzed by HRW confirmed the villages were torched.

“All the horrors of the Burmese Army’s crimes against humanity against the Rohingya are evident in the mass killings in Maung Nu village,” said HRW Deputy Asia Director Phil Robertson.

The New York-based body spoke to some two dozen Rohingyas of the more than 500,000 that have fled to Bangladesh in order to escape the ongoing violence in Rakhine.

The crisis had erupted end of August when the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army had attacked multiple government posts in the region leading to a military offensive by the Myanmar Army that has been called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The UN Inter-Sectoral Coordination Group has said around 509,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh since August 25 and 45 humanitarian agencies and organizations were working on the ground to attend to them.

–IANS/EFE

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