Bodies Found, Arrests Made in Tense Northern Rakhine

By Rik Glauert 1 August 2017

YANGON — Police are investigating after the discovery of three mutilated dead bodies in Rathedaung Township, Rakhine State on Monday afternoon as another arrest of a suspected militant was made in the region, according to the State Counselor’s office.

Of the three victims—named as Iman Nusaw, 54, Nawra King, 18, and Nora Long, 15—one had been decapitated and two had been partly decapitated, according to the Monday statement. They were found near Chook Pyin village, the statement read.

In a separate incident, on the evening of July 27, security forces arrested resident of Ahtet Nanya village in Rathedaung Township Anna Tular on suspicion of completing militant training in the Mayu mountain range, according to a separate statement from the State Counselor’s Office.

Government officials say Muslim Rohingya insurgents are behind a slew of killings in northern Rakhine—an area that has been racked by violence in recent months, with security forces accused of committing atrocities against civilians during “clearance operations” following attacks on border guard posts in October 2016.

Security forces also discovered a camp in the Mayu mountain range of Rakhine State’s Maungdaw Township on Sunday, according to another State Counselor’s Office statement.

The tents, construction materials, rice, cooking oil, betel nuts, and World Food Programme (WFP) biscuits were found in a search for U Than Htay, who went missing from Chutpyin village of Rathedaung Township, the statement said.

The Rakhine State government has launched an investigation, it added.

Last month, national security adviser U Thaung Tun highlighted a recent increase in violence in the area, some of which stemmed from incidents between the Myanmar Army and suspected militants.

At least 44 civilians have been killed and 27 have been kidnapped or gone missing in northern Rakhine in the past nine months, U Thaung Tun told diplomats in Yangon, adding that Muslim militants were targeting Muslim villagers who were perceived to be collaborating with the government.

On June 20, Myanmar Army troops and border police raided a suspected militant training camp in a forest of the Mayu mountain range, resulting in three dead suspected militants and the seizure of 20 dummy guns, two homemade guns and bags of corn seed and rice.