WORLD

Myanmar continuing operations against Muslim civilians

MYANMAR CONTINUING OPERATIONS AGAINST MUSLIM CIVILIANS

The source said the attacks of the Myanmar army and Buddhist nationalists are continuing in Maungdaw, Buthidaung, and Rathidaung in Rakhine state, where Muslims make up the majority.

Myanmar is continuing operations against Muslim civilians in Rakhine state, a Rohingya community leader currently living in Bangladesh told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.

The source, who asked not to be named due to security concerns, said the attacks of the Myanmar army and Buddhist nationalists are continuing in Maungdaw, Buthidaung, and Rathidaung in Rakhine state, where Muslims make up the majority.

In the last six days, more than 60 villages in the three districts have been evacuated, and dozens were burned to the ground in Rakhine state, the source added.

The source said massacres of civilians in many places in the districts are ongoing.

The exact number of deaths is uncertain because the army of the southeast Asian country has forbidden international observers and NGOs from entering the area.

Since Friday, more than 20,000 Rohingya Muslims have entered Bangladesh without authorization despite Bangladeshi counter-measures. Tens of thousands of Rohingya are also continuing to wait near the Myanmar-Bangladesh border, the source said.

At least 10 children and nine women were killed when a boat carrying Rohingya capsized off Bangladesh's southeastern coast early Thursday.

Violence erupted in Myanmar's Rakhine state on Aug. 25 when the country's security forces launched an operation against the Rohingya Muslim community. It triggered a fresh influx of refugees towards neighboring Bangladesh, though the country sealed off its border to refugees.

Media reports said Myanmar security forces used disproportionate force, displacing thousands of Rohingya villagers and destroying their homes with mortars and machine guns.

The region has seen simmering tension between its Buddhist and Muslim populations since communal violence broke out in 2012.

A security crackdown launched last October in Maungdaw, where Rohingya make up the majority, led to a UN report on human rights violations by security forces that indicated crimes against humanity.

The UN documented mass gang-rape, killings -- including infants and young children -- brutal beatings, and disappearances. Rohingya representatives have said approximately 400 people have been slain during the crackdown.

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