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In Myanmar Government, military reject allegations of violence

Rakhine was locked down by the military early October after two border posts were attacked.

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Myanmar's President U Htin Kyaw play

Myanmar's President U Htin Kyaw

(First Post)

Myanmar’s Government and military on Thursday denied allegations the military was responsible for destroying villages home to the Muslim Rohingya minority in the restive state of Rakhine.

In a statement published in state media, the office of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi said that militants had set fire to the villages in a bid to get financial help from international organisations.

Human Rights Watch has accused Myanmar’s military of burning down 430 houses, and released high-definition images of the destruction on Sunday.

It upheld its allegations in another statement on Thursday.

The government also said that its own images showed that only around 180 houses were affected.

Rakhine was locked down by the military early October after two border posts were attacked, leaving nine police officers dead.

The government had blamed Muslim groups with ties to overseas terrorists for the violence.

Foreign journalists and independent observers have been refused access to the state, making it difficult to confirm state media reports.

Rakhine is one of Myanmar’s poorest states and has been beset by interfaith violence between Buddhists and Muslims since a 2012 outbreak between the two groups left hundreds dead and over 100,000 people displaced.

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