17 more Hindu bodies found as Myanmar unearths mass graves

17 more Hindu bodies found as Myanmar unearths mass graves, by Hia-Hia Htay.

Searchers on Monday found 17 more Hindu bodies in mass graves in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, the government said, a day after 28 corpses were exhumed in what the army says is evidence of a massacre by Muslim Rohingya militants.

Northern Rakhine has been ravaged by communal violence since Rohingya insurgents staged deadly raids on police posts on August 25, unleashing an army crackdown that has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians.

The vast majority — more than 430,000 — are Rohingya Muslims who have fled across the border to Bangladesh from a military campaign which the UN says likely amounts to ethnic cleansing.

But tens of thousands of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists, and the region’s small population of Hindus, have also bolted from their homes, saying they were attacked by Rohingya militants.

On Sunday the army said it had discovered two mud pits filled with 28 Hindu corpses — mostly women and children — outside the village of Ye Baw Kyaw in northern Rakhine.

Seventeen more bodies were found on Monday, said government spokesman Zaw Htay, blaming the killings on Rohingya militants. …

Displaced Hindus from that area, known as Kha Maung Seik, have told AFP that Rohingya fighters stormed their communities on August 25, killing many and taking others into the forest. …

With the government blocking access to the conflict zone, it is difficult to verify the range of accusations that have intensified ethnic hatreds in Rakhine.

But the army has steadfastly blamed violence on the Rohingya — a Muslim minority it has been trying for years to eject from Myanmar — while highlighting the suffering of other ethnic groups swept up in the violence.

Haven’t heard of this on the ABC.

hat-tip Stephen Neil