At least 71 people, including 59 insurgents and 12 security personnel, were killed on Friday during militant attacks on police posts in the restive Rakhine state, the Myanmar Army said. Militants targeted 30 police sites an an army base in a coordinated strike.
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army claimed responsibility for the attack, Reuters reported. Violence has been rife in the region, with clashes between Muslim and Buddhist communities.
At the crux of the conflict is the status of more than a million Rohingya Muslims, whom the government describes as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and does not acknowledge their rights as an official ethnic group. The community has been subjected to violence by the Buddhist majority and the Army in Myanmar.
Hundreds have died starving on boats trying to flee the country, while many have settled in and around Jammu and Kashmir in India. On August 18, the National Human Rights Commission had issued a notice to India’s Home Affairs Ministry over its decision to deport Rohingya Muslim refugees to Myanmar.