World

Myanmar, militants accuse each other of atrocities

YANGON: Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday accused Rohingya fighters of burning homes and using child soldiers during clashes in Rakhine state, which the militants have refuted.

Despite years of persecution, the Rohingya largely shunned violence. But clashes have erupted since last October when a Rohingya militant group - Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa) - staged attacks on security forces, sparking a crackdown by Myanmar that the UN believes may have amounted to ethnic cleansing.

A round of fresh fighting has been raging since Friday, when militants staged new ambushes. More than 100 people, including some 80 militants, have been confirmed killed.

The government department run by Ms Suu Kyi released a flurry of statements, one of which said: "Terrorists have been fighting security forces by using children at the frontline (and) setting fire (to) minority-ethnic villages."

Arsa hit back, tweeting: "While raiding Rohingya villages, the Burmese brutal military soldiers bring along with them groups of Rakhine (Buddhist) extremists to attack Rohingya villagers, loot Rohingyas' properties and later burn down Rohingya houses."

Rohingya who fled to Bangladesh on Sunday described Buddhist forces shooting people dead and burning down homes. - AFP

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