Myanmar says 163 killed in Rohingya attacks

At least 163 people have been killed in attacks carried out by Rohingya Muslim militants in Myanmar

At least 163 people have been killed and 91 others have gone missing over the past year in attacks carried out by Rohingya Muslim militants in Myanmar’s restive Rakhine state, Myanmar government officials said.

The comments Tuesday came after the bodies of at least 45 Hindus were discovered in three mass graves earlier in the week. The government blames Muslim insurgents for the killings.

The government’s Information Committee released a statement on its Facebook page saying that from October 2016 to August 2017, at least 79 people were killed in the attacks and 37 have gone missing, including local officials, public servants and security forces. Another 84 were killed and 54 have gone missing since Aug. 25, when the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, or ARSA, launched attacks on at least 30 police outposts.

The government had previously said that nearly 400 alleged insurgents had been killed since Aug. 25.

Related: Myanmar activists say thousands flee airstrikes, fighting

On Monday, Myanmar officials said they had discovered at least 45 slain Hindus in three mass graves in conflict-torn northern Rakhine state. Twenty-eight were uncovered from two mass graves on Sunday and 17 were discovered in a different mass grave in the same area on Monday.

Local authorities said the 45 bodies were among about 100 Hindus missing since ARSA carried out the simultaneous attacks on the police outposts.

“We are still searching for more mass graves in that same area,” said Maj. Zayar Nyein of Border Guard Police Headquarters in Maungdaw. “I don’t know exactly why these terrorists killed that many people. The Hindu village was very much up north and communication was not that good, and that’s why security forces were not able to reach out to the area sooner.”

There was no immediate way to independently verify the government’s assertions.

Related: Trump’s planned reduction in refugees may hit Myanmar worst

A government crackdown that followed the attacks left more than 200 Rohingya Muslim villages burned and sent at least 420,000 Rohingya fleeing into Bangladesh.

Hindu families who crossed from Myanmar to Bangladesh to flee the violence said their family members and relatives were among those who were killed and buried in the shallow mass graves that were discovered this week. Hindu women who are now in refugee camps in Bangladesh told The Associated Press that the attackers killed their family members and relatives and later brought them to Bangladesh.

“Most of our neighbours are Muslims,” said Bina Sharma, a Hindu villager who survived the violence. “Masked men threatened us and asked us to give them cash and gold. Later they killed 10 of my family members. They brought us to Bangladesh and confined us in a camp. They wanted to torture and kill us, but we told them we would convert to Islam and abide by the rules, but later with the police help we were taken to a refugee camp.”

Meanwhile, a Japanese doctor who just returned from the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh said the situation there was “extraordinary.”

Masamichi Yokoe, who was a part of the Japanese Red Cross Society advanced relief team, said the rapid speed of the refugees arriving at the camps is “abnormal” and making it difficult for aid workers to assess whether sufficient aid is coming in.

Yokoe said in addition to suffering from malnutrition and poor sanitation, many of the refugees appeared to be traumatized by the violence they encountered as they fled Myanmar.

___

Associated Press journalists Dar Yasin in Kutupalong, Bangladesh, and Kaori Hitomi in Tokyo contributed to this report.

Esther Htusan, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Kelly Janveaux announces her candidacy for School Board Trustee

A long-time youth advocate, this will be Janveaux’s first time running in a public election

Mt. Hicks fire 15% contained, continues to burn north of Agassiz

The fire, suspected to be caused by a vehicle with a flat tire, not threatening any structures

UPDATE: Anonymous tip leads DFO night patrol to Fraser River poachers

Charges pending after poachers arrested at night while fishing, 48 sockeye, harbour seal seized

Chilliwack is home to Sasquatch, the first Canadian-designed hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, the Sasquatch hop is the country’s first patented hops plant

Retro meets modern design with idea for iconic Paramount sign

Proposed Paramount Project plans for downtown Chilliwack unveiled Monday

Kim XO is Black Press Media’s fashionista

Starting Sept. 7, stylist Kim XO will host Fashion Fridays on the Life channel on Black Press Meida

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Police responding to ‘unfolding’ incident in Maple Ridge suburb

Helicopter, dog team, guns drawn and 16 police vehicles at Maple Ridge property

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

1954-built trolleybus hits Vancouver roads for 70th anniversary

TransLink to offer free rides on a retrofitted electric trolley bus to commemorate anniversary

Most Read