Mil­i­tary de­nies tar­get­ing Mus­lims

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - NATION+WORLD -

Myan­mar’s mil­i­tary is­sued its most force­ful de­nial yet that se­cu­rity forces com­mit­ted atroc­i­ties dur­ing “clear­ance op­er­a­tions” in the west of the coun­try, say­ing an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion had ab­solved them of any wrong­do­ing in a cri­sis that has trig­gered the largest refugee ex­o­dus in Asia in decades.

The re­port con­tra­dicts con­sis­tent state­ments from eth­nic Ro­hingya Mus­lim refugees now in Bangladesh — some with gun­shot wounds and se­vere burns — who have de­scribed mas­sacres, rape, loot­ing and the burn­ing of hun­dreds of vil­lages by Myan­mar’s army and civil­ian mobs.

The U.N. hu­man­i­tar­ian of­fice said Tues­day that the num­ber of Ro­hingya who have fled Myan­mar to Bangladesh since Aug. 25 has risen to 618,000.

In a Mon­day state­ment, the mil­i­tary said it had in­ter­viewed thou­sands of peo­ple dur­ing a month­long in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the con­duct of troops in western Rakhine state after Ro­hingya in­sur­gents launched Aug. 25 a se­ries of deadly at­tacks.

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