YANGON—A Myanmar Army investigation panel has determined that villagers and security forces killed 10 Rohingya allegedly affiliated with Muslim militants who launched a series of attacks on security outposts in northern Maungdaw last year.
The Army investigation followed the discovery of 10 bodies near a graveyard in Inn Din village in southern Maungdaw Township, Rakhine State in December.
According to a press release issued by the panel on Wednesday afternoon, a five-member team led by Lieutenant-General Aye Win visited Inn Din village between Dec. 20 and Jan. 2 and interviewed 21 Army witnesses, three Border Police officers, 13 members of No. 8 Security Unit, six Inn Din villagers and six civil servants.
The 10 Rohingya were involved in attacks organized by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA)—a Muslim militant group denounced by the government as a “terrorist organization” after a series of attacks last year—and arrested on Sept. 1 during a clearance operation in Inn Din village.
“While they should have been handed over to the police station, the security forces at the time were too busy implementing security measures in the surrounding areas to do so. So it was decided that the Rohingya would be executed at the village graveyard,” the statement reads.
The executions occurred on Sept. 2. They were carried out by three villagers using knives and four security force personnel armed with guns, according to the press release. Two of the villagers involved were taking revenge for the killing of their father at the hands of Rohingya militants, according to the statement.
“As the villagers and security troops confessed to the killings, they will be prosecuted according to the law,” it reads.
The team determined that security officials involved in the incident did not report it to their superiors. Those officials found to be responsible will be punished and their actions made public, according to the statement.
Since the ARSA attacks in August last year, northern Rakhine State has been ravaged by clearance operations by Myanmar security forces, causing an exodus of more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims to nearby Bangladesh. Some of the refugees have reported witnessing or being subjected to arbitrary killings, rapes and the torching of property by the security forces and local vigilantes.