More 'clearance' of Rohingya as Annan demands change

It earlier said clashes broke out in Maungdaw district of northern Rakhine around 1 a.m. when "extremist Bengali terrorists" attacked security outposts and police stations in 24 separate locations in the area, which is mostly populated by minority Rohingya Muslims.

In an unprecedented terror offensive, Muslim militants coordinated a major attack today by targeting 30 police posts and an army base in Myanmar's Rakhine State.

The latest attacks against government forces mark an escalation from a raid last October on a border security installation in northern Rakhine that killed nine security personnel.

Meanwhile, according to Aung San Suu Kyi's office, the number of people killed in clashes between Rohingya and government forces in Myanmar's Rakhine state has increased to 71.

The UN has condemned the attack and called for "all parties to refrain from violence, protect civilians and restore order".

According to previous estimates by the State Counsellor Office, at least eight police officers, one immigration service worker, and 16 attackers were killed.

Friday's violence pushed more Rohingya to leave, with two boats containing around 150 women, children and elderly people attempting to cross the Naf river into Bangladesh. "We have a zero tolerance policy - no one will be allowed", Hossain said.

The report, presented Thursday at a news conference attended by Annan, says it is essential to ensure equal rights for Muslim Rohingya, while acknowledging that will be controversial among the Buddhist Rakhine community that considers them illegal immigrants.

The BGB official also noted that the Rohingyas claimed they had tried to enter Bangladesh following news that the Myanmar army exchanged fire with some insurgents in Rakhine State. United Nations human rights investigators and independent rights organizations charge that soldiers and police killed and raped civilians and burned down more than 1,000 homes during the operations.

"As Myanmar refuses to acknowledge Rohingya Muslims as citizens, it becomes impossible for the Indian government to deport them there, making the advisory infructuous", Dhanuka said.

"25 Aug attack in N Rakine utmost concern!" Almost 87,000 Rohingya Muslims have already fled the country to neighbouring Bangladesh amid escalating tensions.

They have spoken of their fear at being trapped in between security forces and the militants, who are accused of conducting a shadowy assassination campaign against those perceived as collaborators with the state. Most importantly, the commission said the government must review its citizenship law that "continues to cause significant human suffering and insecurity, while also holding back the economic and social development of the entire state".

  • Joey Payne