32 killed in Myanmar terror attacks
Nay Pyi Taw, August 25 (IANS): At least 32 people, including 11 security personnel, were killed in terror attacks on police posts in Myanmar’s Rakhine state on Friday, the army said in a statement.
At least 24 police posts in Maungtaw region were attacked with handmade bombs by terrorists. The attack took place one day after a commission chaired by former United Nations chief Kofi Annan presented a report to the Myanmar government which called for an end to sectarian violence in Rakhine and increased development in the region, Efe news reported.
The army’s Commander in Chief Min Aung Hlaing said in a statement on Facebook that one soldier, 10 policemen and 21 militants died in the attacks. As many as 150 militants were said to be involved in the violence.
The attacks were claimed by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which said it was retaliating to an ongoing Army offensive in the region.
“This is a legitimate step for us to defend the world’s persecuted people and liberate the oppressed people from the hands of the oppressors!” said ARSA on Twitter.
The ARSA statement accused the Army of committing multiple murders, as well as looting and sexual violence in Rathedaung and Maungdaw over the past few weeks in order to derail the Kofi Annan commission report.
Annan condemned the attack and said it marked a “worrying escalation of violence”.
“After years of insecurity and instability, it should be clear that violence is not the solution to the challenges that Rakhine State is facing,” he said.
More than a million members of the Muslim minority Rohingyas reside in Rakhine, where they suffer growing discrimination due to the sectarian conflict which killed at least 160 people in 2012 and displaced nearly 120,000 Rohingyas living in 67 refugees camps, the report said.