Video shows alleged site of mass murder of Rohingya Muslims by soldiers

Warning: Video contains graphic mobile phone footage of charred bodies

Adam Withnall@adamwithnall
Tuesday 06 December 2016 12:24
Rohingya Muslims fleeing Burma recall the horrors they left

Rohingya refugees have been describing the horrific violence that forced them to flee their homes in Burma and escape across the border to informal camps in Bangladesh.

One man, a teacher named Osman Gani, passed a video to international media which he says shows the charred bodies of some 300 people massacred by the Burmese army. He says many people were gunned down by government aircraft before the bodies were burned.

Violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority has flared up since last October, a bloody reaction to deadly strikes by unknown assailants on police posts near the border with Bangladesh.

Another refugee, 20-year-old Mohsena Begum, described how soldiers arrived at her village of Caira Fara, killing four village leaders, beating the men and raping the women.

Ms Begum told the Associated Press her husband, a farm labourer, was beaten and then murdered by having his throat slit. She says she was separated from her young son and raped, before they managed to escape.

And Sufia Begum, an older refugee at the camp, described how soldiers launched a sneak attack on her village, “shooting people one by one and setting fire to the houses”. She said she survived by lying down on the floor.

The Burmese government has blamed Rohingya sympathisers for the attacks on police posts and acknowledged using helicopter gunships in the military sweep that followed.

Satellite images analysed by the rights group Human Rights Watch show 1,250 structures destroyed in Rohingya villages in November.

But the government says stories like the younger Ms Begum’s are exaggerations, and lodged a formal protest against a UN official in Bangladesh who said the state was carrying out "ethnic cleansing”.

The Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, has led criticism of the Burmese government in recent days, calling its actions “genocide” and declaring at a protest rally that "enough is enough".

Burma has blocked international investigators and foreign journalists from entering Rakhine state, the province where much of the violence has taken place, to report on what is happening there.

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