[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Mob 'hacks women to death' in Myanmar

A witness and a rights group say more than dozen Rohingya Muslim women and children killed in western Rakhine state.

Last updated: 16 Jan 2014 19:48
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

A villager and a rights group have claimed that a Buddhist mob have hacked more than a dozen Muslim women and children with knives in an isolated corner of Myanmar.

Chris Lewa of the Arakan Project, which has been documenting abuses against members of the Rohinyga Muslim minority for more than a decade, said on Thursday that the violence took place on Tuesday in Du Char Yar Tan, a village in western Rakhine state.

She said the death toll was not yet clear, but her sources indicated it could reach into the dozens.

That some of the victims appeared to have been stabbed with knives, not shot or beaten, "would clearly indicate the massacre was committed by (Buddhist) Rakhine villagers, rather than the police or army," the Arakan Project wrote in a briefing on Thursday.

A resident who spoke on condition of anonymity, because he feared reprisals, said 17 women and five children died.

Rakhine state spokesman Win Myaing said the situation was tense, but denied any deaths had occurred.

But Khin Maung Than, a Muslim who lives in a neighbouring village, said he visited Du Char Yar Tan and had seen no evidence of violence or deaths there.

Missing policeman

A resident who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared reprisals said an initial flare-up followed the discovery of three bodies in a ditch near Du Char Yar Tan village by several firewood collectors.

Believing they were among a group of eight Rohingya who went missing after being detained by authorities days earlier, they alerted friends and neighbours who returned with their mobile phones to take pictures, said the man, who works as a volunteer English teacher.

That night, five police went to the village to confiscate the phones and check family lists, but the crowd turned on the officers, beating and chasing them off, he said. The police returned at 2am, saying one of their men had gone missing, he said. That triggered a security crackdown.

Soldiers and police surrounded the village, breaking down doors and looting livestock and other valuables, the English teacher said. Almost all the men fled, leaving the women, children and elderly behind, he said.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million people, has been grappling with sectarian violence for nearly two years. More than 240 people have been killed and another 140,000, mostly Muslims, forced to flee their homes.

394

Source:
AP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Anti-government secrecy organisation struggling for relevance without Julian Assange at the helm.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
join our mailing list