Villagers killed in Myanmar's Rakhine state
Myanmar’s government on Thursday claimed a group of armed men on Thursday killed six villagers in the country’s volatile Rakhine state, APA reports quoting Anadolu.
A release from State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s office said they were attacked as they were on their way to farmland near Kine Gyi village in Maungdaw Township on Thursday morning
The government said security forces found six villagers, including three women, dead of gun and knife wounds.
The victims were members of the ethnic Myo minority, the government said, adding its security forces were searching for two more missing villagers.
The northern part of Rakhine state has seen a four-month military crackdown after nine policemen were killed near the country’s western border with Bangladesh last October.
At least 106 people have been killed during the operation, the government claims, but Rohingya groups have said approximately 400 Rohingya have been killed.
The government said there have been about 60 cases of civilian murders or kidnappings by militants since operation ended in February.
A recent UN report said there was evidence of security forces committing abuses such as killings, including of babies and children, gang rapes and destruction of property.
Rohingya are denied citizenship by the Myanmar government, which officially labels them Bengalis -- suggesting they are illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh.
The ethnic group, however, maintains it belongs to Myanmar and citizenship is their birthright.
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