Myanmar’s military has admitted its security forces and Buddhist villagers killed 10 Rohingya Muslims whose bodies were found in a mass grave in a village in troubled Rakhine state.
The statement is the army’s public acknowledgement of wrongdoing since it launched “clearance operations” against ethnic Rohingya in August, prompting more than 650,000 to flee into neighbouring Bangladesh in what the United Nations (UN) has called “ethnic cleansing.”
A statement Wednesday on the military commander-in-chief’s Facebook page said the Rohingya found in the mass grave had threatened Buddhist villagers and were killed in retaliation.
The UN and other groups have accused the military of widespread atrocities against Rohingya, including killings, rapes and the burning of homes. But the military has previously denied any wrongdoing by security forces.
The 10 bodies were found in December in a mass grave near a cemetery in Inn Din village.
“It is true that both the villagers and security forces admitted they killed the 10 Bengali terrorists,” the military statement said. “The army will take charge of those who are responsible for the killings and who broke the rules of engagement. This incident happened because ethnic Buddhist villagers were threatened and provoked by the terrorists.”