United Kingdom foreign minister meets Suu Kyi over plight of Rohingya

16 arrested in Myanmar for killing Rohingya

U Maung Thein Chay, the Rakhine Buddhist administrator of the coastal village in northern Rakhine, told Reuters that soldiers and paramilitaries had worn civilian clothes to blend in with other residents before a September 2 attack that led to the burning of Inn Din's Muslim homes and the killing of 10 Rohingya men.

A Myanmar government spokesperson, Zaw Htay, said that "action according to the law" would be taken against seven soldiers, three members of the police force and six villagers as part of an army investigation that was initiated before the report was published.

On Friday, Reuters global news agency published a report that provided more details that led to the killing of the 10 people, which the Tatmadaw said were suspected terrorists.

But U Zaw Htay said the government action against the security personnel has nothing to do with the Reuters report, noting that the government initiative was based on the results of its own investigation.

The news agency said that contrary to the Tatmadaw report, there was no large scale attack launched by insurgents on security forces in Inn Din, citing reports of witnesses.

Mr Johnson added villagers were so frightened, they could not say who had burned their homes.

Rohingya Muslims say they are a long-persecuted minority in Buddhist-majority Myanmar and are denied many basic rights and educational and job opportunities. And Rohingya witnesses said that soldiers plucked the 10 from among hundreds of men, women and children who had sought safety on a nearby beach.

Almost 690,000 Rohingya have fled Rakhine and crossed into southern Bangladesh since August, when attacks on security posts by rebels triggered a military crackdown that the United Nations has said may amount to genocide. Myanmar citizens Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were detained on December 12 for allegedly obtaining confidential documents.

Last week, the US-based Associated Press reported more cases of mass killings being uncovered in another village, but the government's Information Ministry denied the report.

The pair remain behind bars for a trial on charges under the Official Secrets Act and face a possible 14-year prison sentence.

The police has said two police officers were also arrested. "And we are not giving blanket denials".

Johnson is in Thailand after visiting Bangladesh, where he met Rohingya refugees, and Myanmar, where he held talks on the Rohingya situation with the country's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

The United Nations has described the exodus of Rohingya people from Rakhine state, and the military offensive that sparked it, as a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing".



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