In a rare acknowledgement, the Myanmar military has admitted that the members of its security forces were involved in the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslims, whose bodies were found in a mass grave in December in the restive Rakhine region.
The Rohingyas found in the mass grave had threatened Buddhist villagers and were killed in retaliation, the Independent reported, citing a statement on the military commander-in-chief's Facebook page, as saying.
The army described the 10 Rohingya Muslims found in the mass grave as "Bengali terrorists."
"It is true that both the villagers and security forces admitted they killed the 10 Bengali terrorists," the military statement added, "The army will take charge of those who are responsible for the killings and who broke the rules of engagement. This incident happened because ethnic Buddhist villagers were threatened and provoked by the terrorists."
More than 655,000 Rohingyas have crossed into Bangladesh since August 25, escaping a military crackdown in the Rakhine state, which many countries and human rights bodies have described as ethnic cleansing.
On October 12, a United Nations' report based on interviews conducted in Bangladesh found that brutal attacks against Rohingyas in the northern Rakhine state have been well-organised, coordinated and systematic, with the intent of not only driving the population out of Myanmar but preventing them from returning to their homes.
The Rakhine state is home to a majority of Muslims in Myanmar, who have been denied citizenship and long faced persecution in the Buddhist-majority country, especially from the extremists.
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