losangelesnewstoday.com May 23, 2018

Terror and persecution go on for Myanmar's Muslim minority

27 August 2017, 12:54 | Katrina Lee

BREAKING: Twelve dead after Muslim militants storm police posts

Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan arrives to present the final report on Rakhine at Sule Shangri La Hotel in Yangon on August 24. Zarni Phyo  The Myanmar Times

"I strongly condemn today's brutal attacks by terrorists on security forces in Rakhine State", said Ms Suu Kyi, who has been widely criticised for failing to condemn atrocities by Myanmar's army in the state that is home of more than one million Rohingya Muslims.

Early yesterday, more than 20 police posts came under attack by an estimated 150 insurgents, some carrying guns and using homemade explosives, Myanmar's military said.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, a militant group, claimed responsibility for the attacks on Twitter.

A year ago a wave of similar attacks led to the deaths of nine cops, which prompted the government to launch a massive military counter-offensive.

Myanmar's commander in chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, said on his Facebook page late Friday that the attacks were planned to coincide with the release of a report by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and to gain attention during the General Assembly next month.

In a written statement, Turkish foreign ministry voiced concern over the attacks and said: "We condemn the attacks and emphasize that the problems in Rakhine state can not be resolved through violence". On Friday, the United Nations condemned the militant attacks and called for all parties to refrain from violence.

Following its policy of "zero tolerance" towards violent extremism and terrorism, Bangladesh assured Myanmar of continued cooperation in dealing with these challenges, according to the statement.

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The report, presented Thursday at a news conference attended by Annan, says it is essential to ensure equal rights for Muslim Rohingya, while acknowledging that will be controversial among the Buddhist Rakhine community that considers them illegal immigrants.

Rakhine is a site of frequent clashes between Myanmar's Muslims and Buddhists.

Unwanted by Myanmar, the Rohingya are unwelcome in Bangladesh, which already hosts tens of thousands of refugees from the Muslim minority.

Amnesty International said the attacks marked a risky escalation of violence in the area.

However, global observers have also expressed concerns about the language and nature of statements by the government regarding the incidents, which sources in Rakhine say are fuelling hate against the wider Rohingya civilian community and other Muslim populations.

Thousands of Rohingyas have started gathering at Bangladesh border.

Sources at Teknaf border has confirmed that groups of Rohingya people entered Bangladesh through the Naf River on Friday morning, amid sounds of gunfire filling the air on the other side of the border all night long. 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.

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