13 police personnel killed in Myanmar terror attacks

Aug 27, 2017, 00:53
13 police personnel killed in Myanmar terror attacks

Turkey on Saturday said the situation in western Myanmar's Rakhine state can not be solved through violence as it condemned Friday's deadly attacks on border posts which left at least 89 people killed.

Thousands of Rohingyas have started gathering at Bangladesh border as fresh fighting erupted in Myanmar's northwestern Rakhine state between Rohingya insurgents and security forces.

Some 30 police posts came under attack in the early hours of Friday by an estimated 150 insurgents, some carrying guns and using homemade explosives, Myanmar's military said.

Friday's incident marks the first such major attacks by the insurgents in Rakhine since October 9 previous year when nine border police stations and outposts in the region similarly came under simultaneous attacks, resulting in the deaths of nine officers and eight attackers.

The fighting has killed 89 people and forced thousands of civilians - Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine - to flee their homes.

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The attacks were co-ordinated to coincide with the release of a government-commissioned report by former United Nations chief Kofi Annan detailing conditions in Rakhine and making recommendations aimed defusing religious hatred and bloodshed there.

It was the worst outbreak of violence for months in the coastal state plagued by religious tensions, and followed the release of the commission's report.

"About 500 Rohingya, mostly women and children, spent the last night in a marshy area waiting to cross over", said Khan. "We must not allow our work to be derailed by the violent actions of extremists", she said.

The Rohingya are denied citizenship and classified as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, despite having roots in the region that go back centuries, with communities marginalized and subject to communal violence.

More than 20 posts were targeted by the militants, the Myanmar government said.

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In December 2016, More than a dozen Nobel laureates criticized fellow peace prize victor Aung San Suu Kyi for not doing enough to curb the "ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity" against minority Rohingya Muslims in the country.

Mr Annan led worldwide condemnation of the attacks, saying he was "gravely concerned". Last year, the Myanmar army had targeted the militants in the Rakhine State with full force, but it has not helped eliminate the terrorists completely. Such attacks deserve to be condemned in the strongest possible terms, " an official statement said.

Last October too, Rohingyas had entered Bangladesh after similar clashes broke out.

Chris Lewa of the Rohingya monitoring group, the Arakan Project, said a major concern was what happened to some 700 Rohingya villagers trapped inside their section of Zay Di Pyin village which had been surrounded by Rakhine vigilantes armed with sticks and swords.

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