At least 163 people were killed and 91 others have gone missing over the past year in attacks by Rohingya Muslim militants in the restive Rakhine state, officials of the Myanmar government claimed on Wednesday, according to AP.
The government’s Information Committee released a statement on its Facebook page that says that from October 2016 to August 2017, at least 79 people were killed and 37, including local officials, public servants and security forces, have gone missing. Another 84 people were killed and 54 went missing since August 25, when the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army launched attacks on at least 30 police outposts, the statement said.
The AP report, however, said there was no immediate way to independently verify the government’s assertions. Earlier this week, the Myanmar government had claimed that the bodies of 45 Hindus were discovered in three mass graves.
The country’s statement comes just days after the Human Rights Watch called for targeted sanctions and an arms embargo on the Myanmar military to stop further “crimes against humanity”. Several nations have also stepped up their criticism of the government for the plight of Rohingyas, more than 4.2 lakh of whom have had to flee to Bangladesh since August 25.