[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Rohingya deaths denied by Myanmar government

Rights group says civilians killed, including at least one child, during sectarian violence in a western village.

Last updated: 17 Jan 2014 17:07
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Myanmar's government considers the estimated 800,000 Rohingya in the country to be foreigners [EPA]

Myanmar authorities have denied any civilian deaths but confirmed a clash took place after a rights group reported Several people including women and a child have been killed in an attack on Rohingya Muslims in western Myanmar.

The authorities on Friday confirmed that clashes had taken place, in which a police officer was presumed to have been killed, but said there had been no information about the killings of women and at least on child, as reported by Thailand-based advocacy group Arakan Project.

Details of the unrest on Friday were unclear, but Rohingya activists said at least two women and a child were stabbed to death in an attack on a village near the border with Bangladesh earlier this week, with possibly several dozen casualties.

The United States and Britain called on the government to investigate and to hold those responsible accountable.

"We have had no information about killings," Deputy Information Minister Ye Htut told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers in Myanmar's ancient city of Bagan.

His comments were echoed by other government officials.

Chris Lewa, director of the Thailand-based advocacy group Arakan Project, which has been documenting abuses against Rohingya for more than a decade, said details about the violence in Du Char Yar Tan village were still emerging, with many conflicting reports.

The death toll could be anywhere from 10 to 60, said Lewa, whose sources range from a village administrator to witnesses.

One described the slashed-up bodies of three acquaintances two women and a 14-year-old boy found in their homes.

Some of the victims also were hit by bullets, the group was told.

Grappling with violence

Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders, which runs a nearby clinic, said it was concerned that residents who are in hiding may not be getting the medical care they need.

"MSF confirms that on Wednesday it saw two wounded people suffering from injuries inflicted as a result of violence, one from a gunshot wound and the other exhibiting injuries consistent with a beating," said the group's Myanmar head, Peter-Paul de Groote.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million people, has been grappling with sectarian violence for nearly two years.

Myanmar's government considers the estimated 800,000 Rohingya in the country to be foreigners while many citizens see them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and view them with hostility.

More than 240 people have been killed and another 250,000 forced to flee their homes, most of them Muslims from the western state of Rakhine.

420

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
join our mailing list