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Iran Press TV

6 killed in fresh clashes in Myanmar's Rakhine

Iran Press TV

Thu Aug 3, 2017 4:44PM

At least six people have been killed in a fresh outbreak of violence in the Muslim-populated state of Rakhine in northwest Myanmar.

The government and residents in Kaing Gyi village said Thursday that three men and three women were killed after a gufire broke out in the village around 10:00 am (0330 GMT).

Police blamed the violence on terrorists, a term used to distinguish members of the self-styled Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, which claims to be defending the Muslim minority Rohingya against a government crackdown in Rakhine.

"Security forces are hunting extremist terrorists after the bodies of six villagers from Kaing Gyi were found and two went missing," said a statement from the state counselor's office.

A village leader said all the dead were from the Myo ethnic group living in the area and no Muslims were targeted. Sein Hla Maung said a man and a woman were still missing and that the attackers used guns and knives to target the villagers.

Rakhine has been the scene of a brutal crackdown against Rohingya Muslims since October last year when the government blamed an attack police posts on members of the community. More than 70,000 have fled to the neighboring Bangladesh as security forces still holds the area under a lockdown.

UN estimates suggest hundreds have been killed in what it believes may amount to ethnic cleansing. The government of the Buddhist-dominated nation has refused to allow in a UN fact-finding mission to investigate while it maintains that security forces should be able to continue carrying out their valid "clearance operations". There are almost daily reports in state media showing that villagers continue to be murdered and abducted by masked assassins.

Buddhists in Myanmar designate Rohingya Muslims as intruders from Bangladesh. Rohingyas reject the claims, citing evidences of their ancestors who have lived in Rakhine border regions for generations.

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