Military denies targeting Muslims
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.