Evidence of Rohingya massacre in Myanmar

Evidence of Rohingya massacre in Myanmar

Reuters has published an extensive report of the Myanmar massacre of 10 Rohingya men in September, pulling from photographs, documents and eyewitness accounts obtained by two Reuters journalists.

The account marked the first time that soldiers and paramilitary police have been implicated by testimony from security personnel in arson and killings in Rakhine state that the United Nations has said may amount to genocide.

In a statement released on January 10, the Tatmadaw acknowledged that 10 Rohingya men were massacred at Inn Din and claimed they were among a group of 200 "terrorists" who attacked the village. Accounts of the violence had previously come only from the victims.

It quoted a medical assistant at the Inn Din village clinic, Ko Aung Myat Tun, 20, as saying he had taken part is several raids to burn Muslim villages. "That's why we burned their houses, mainly for security reasons". "You just light the edge of the roof", he said.

The team of journalists working on the report managed to identify all 10 of the slain men in the photos and talk to their families and neighbors, thanks to a Buddhist village elder who provided them with the photo.

The journalists' detention has prompted outcry from governments and human rights groups around the world. "And we are not giving blanket denials".

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Government spokesman Zaw Htay told CNN Myanmar would investigate the abuses if "strong and reliable primary evidence" was provided. The Reuters reconstruction draws for the first time on interviews with Buddhist villagers who confessed to torching Rohingya homes, burying bodies and killing Muslims. "It is very hard in the current situation".

In the story, Myanmar said its "clearance operation" is a legitimate response to attacks by insurgents.

He defended the military operation in Rakhine, saying the worldwide community needs to understand who did the first terrorist attacks.

"It is impossible for a country alone to overcome terrorism, he said, adding, countries have to cooperate in dealing with terrorism as terrorism has no state borders and is not bound by regulations and choose no targets", he said.

Myanmar police arrested two Reuters reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, on Dec 12 for allegedly obtaining confidential documents relating to Rakhine and have accused them of violating the Official Secrets Act.

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