Hundreds of Rohingyas killed in Myanmar crackdown

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Posted By : NewslineToday Bureau
Date  03/02/2017

Myanmar`s security forces have committed mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya Muslims and burned down villages since October in a campaign that likely amounts to crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing, according to the United Nations.

"The `area clearance operations` have likely resulted in hundreds of deaths," a report from the UN`s human rights office said, referring to a military crackdown launched  in the wake of an attack on a military post.

The report, which was based on interviews with 204 Rohingya refugees who fled to neighbouring Bangladesh, recounted gruesome violations allegedly carried out by members of Myanmar`s security services or civilian fighters working alongside the army and the police.

Of the 101 women interviewed, more than half said they had been raped or sexually assaulted. 

Several women told UN investigators how their young children, including a newborn, were trampled or cut to death.

Security forces were also accused of opened fire at people fleeing and burning entire villages, as well as "massive and systematic rape and sexual violence; deliberate destruction of food and sources of food".

Tun Khin, a Rohingya activist, told Al Jazeera that the international community now needed to change what he called a "soft approach" towards Myanmar`s government.

"Every day Rohingya are facing abuses and extra-judicial killings are going on," Khin, who heads the UK-based Burmese Rohingya Organisation, said.

"The [UN Security Council] has to come up with a strong binding resolution to take action against the Myanmar government," he said, adding that he was pushing hard for the issue to be tabled there.

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