New fires ravage Rohingya villages in northwest Myanmar

Friday 08 2017 2 months ago 68   Myanmar   Print

A house is seen on fire in Myanmar.

Report  Web Desk : YANGON: Up to eight villages were burnt down on Friday in a part of northwest Myanmar where large numbers of Muslim Rohingya had been sheltering from a wave of violence engulfing the area, a witness and three sources briefed on the matter told Reuters. The fires were blazing in the ethnically mixed Rathedaung township, where populations of Rohingya Muslims and Rakhine Buddhists live side by side. It was unclear who set fire to the villages. Independent journalists are not allowed into the area, where Myanmar says its security forces are carrying out clearance operations to defend against “extremist terrorists”. Rights monitors and fleeing Rohingya say the army and Rakhine vigilantes have unleashed a campaign of arson aimed at driving out the Muslim population. The burning of more villages is likely to fuel an exodus of Rohingya to neighbouring Bangladesh. Nearly 270,000 have fled in less than two weeks, creating a humanitarian crisis. (01)