Myanmar clashes leave 96 dead, including 6 civilians

The mass escape from the northern part of Rakhine state was triggered by widespread coordinated offensives by Rohingya insurgents wielding sticks, knives and homemade bombs in attacks that began on August 25 on 30 police posts and an army base.

"We want to go and take shelter inside Bangladesh and don't want to go back with my innocent children in the lion's mouth again. To tell you about the security, it seems to be under control", Nyi Pu said.

Dr. Win Myat Aye, union minister of social welfare, relief and resettlement, said: "We are now focusing strongly on the security matters to make the area more secure".

Centhra notes that there have been calls made by certain quarters for the scrapping of the non-interference clause in the Asean Charter to allow member states to intervene in Myanmar to stop the collective punishment, persecution, and violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority, which Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak characterised previous year as genocide. State of Arunachal Pradesh case in 1996 wherein the apex court held that state governments are under constitutional obligation to protect threatened groups of foreign nations. He returned to Sittwe on Sunday evening.

Witnesses said they heard the sound of gunshots. "They had to clear the mines, and bridges were destroyed". Over 100 people have been killed since Friday.

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Rohingya refugees walk pass Balukhali refugee camp near Myanmar's border.

Reporters and aid workers on the Bangladeshi side of the Naf river, which divides the countries, ... It was not immediately clear if any were hit. Meanwhile, about 200 civilians have been displaced by the violence around Maungdaw and Buthidaung.

The State Counsellor's office has also ordered all media to use the term terrorists rather insurgent to describe Rohingya militants.

On August 8, the MHA had issued an advisory titled Identification of illegal migrants and monitoring thereof, asking states to take "prompt steps in identifying the illegal migrants and initiate deportation processes expeditiously and without delay".

Meanwhile, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group think-tank has published a report labelling the current crisis engulfing northern Rakhine as "neither unpredicted or unpreventable".

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Almost 100 people are officially reported dead in the ongoing clashes, including 80 Rohingya insurgents and 12 members of the Burmese security forces deployed in the theatre.

Most Rohingya are denied citizenship and its rights.

Tens of thousands of Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh since the first outbreak of violence occurred in October 2016, in which militants killed nine policemen at the post bordering Rakhine.

Soldiers have allegedly shot indiscriminately at unwarmed men, women and children during their intensified operations against Rohingya insurgents after three days of clashes with militants in the worst violence involving Burma's Muslim minority in five years. They also require a government permit to marry. It noted that a harsh military response - such as what has been reported in the aftermath of October - and continued displacement of thousands of Rohingya would "create conditions ripe for exploitation by transnational jihadists".

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  • Theresa Obrien