Tatmadaw probe found soldiers responsible in Inn Din village killings

Agence France-Presse

"Villagers and members of the security forces have confessed that they committed murder", the military said in a statement on Wednesday.

Myanmar security forces took part in a massacre of 10 Rohingya in September, the army chief's office said late Wednesday, as it admitted for the first time abuses during a crackdown that sparked a mass exodus of the Muslim minority.

After two attacks in last two years each by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, whom government declared as "terrorist organization", the Tatmadaw conducted clearance operations in the northern Rakhine, which drew criticism from overseas, accusing Myanmar's security forces of committed human rights abuses.

The exact number of the returnees is still unknown.

On Wednesday, it admitted that ethnic Rakhine villagers and security forces killed the 10 Royingya Muslims in the village on September 2 previous year.

It was a rare acknowledgment of wrongdoing by the Myanmar military during the operation it launched in northern Rakhine in response to Rohingya militant attacks on August 25.

After being informed that there was a mass grave found near Inn Din village's cemetery, a team of five investigators led by Lt-Gen Aye Win from the office of commander-in-chief of Defense Services probed the case in December past year.

The government of Buddhist-majority Myanmar has refused to accept Rohingya Muslims as a minority group, even though they have lived in the country for generations.

"We have chose to provide the aid in response to the agreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh to represent an global message of support so that the repatriation can be carried out promptly", said Foreign Ministry official Shinobu Yamaguchi in a statement.

The military claimed they had rushed to Inn Din to protect frightened Buddhist villagers and had been attacked by "200 Bengalis" with sticks and swords, 10 of whom were arrested and accused of having links to terrorists.

"The army will take charge of those who are responsible for the killings and who broke the rules of engagement", the statement continued.

Angry ethnic Rakhine Buddhist villagers, who had lost relatives in militant attacks, wanted to kill the captives, and stabbed them after forcing them into a grave on the outskirts of the village.

The military denied all accusations of significant human rights abuses in a report released in November following an investigation.

Villagers had dug a pit and the men were ordered to enter it, where they were shot by the security forces.

"This grisly admission is a sharp departure from the army's policy of blanket denial of any wrongdoing".

The U.N. and other groups accuse the military of widespread atrocities against Rohingya, including killings, rapes and the burning of homes.

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