Mass grave of 28 Hindus found in Rohingya area

Mass grave of 28 Hindus found in Rohingya area

Rohingya refugees trudge to a refugee camp at Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, on Sunday. (Reuters photo)
Rohingya refugees trudge to a refugee camp at Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, on Sunday. (Reuters photo)

YANGON: Myanmar government forces on Sunday discovered the bodies of 28 Hindu villagers who authorities suspected were killed by Muslim insurgents last month, at the beginning of a spasm of violence that has sent 430,000 Muslim Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh.

The government said a search was mounted near Ye Baw Kya village in the north of Rakhine State after a refugee in Bangladesh contacted a Hindu community leader in Myanmar. The refugee said about 300 ARSA militants had marched about 100 people out of the village on Aug. 25 and killed them.

Twenty of the dead were female and eight were male children, the government said.

"They forced eight female villagers to convert to the Islamic religion and took them to Bangladesh," the government said.

A government spokesman, Zaw Htay, declined to say who he thought had killed the 28. He said the security forces were investigating.

Access to the area by journalists as well as human rights workers and aid workers is largely restricted and Reuters could not independently verify the report.

Meanwhile, the chairman of Asean issued a statement urging all parties to avoid worsening the situation on the ground and calling for a "viable and long-term solutions to the root causes of the conflict".

In a rare show of disagreement in the 10-nation group, Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said Malaysia disassociated itself from the statement as it misrepresented the "reality of the situation" and did not identify the Rohingya as one of the affected communities.

A mass rally was held in front of City Hall in Yangon on Sunday to support Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been heavily criticised for lack of action and decency during the Rohingya crisis.

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