Myanmar military admits involvement in death of 10 Rohingya

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"This is quite a striking acknowledgement by Myanmar's military of wrongdoing", said political analyst Richard Horsey.

The pair have widely covered the military campaign in Rakhine although Reuters has declined to comment on whether they were specifically reporting on the mass grave in Inn Din.

Rights groups said Myanmar's military involvement in the deaths of 10 Rohingya Muslims in northern Rakhine State, admitted by the commander in chief, is just a fraction of the abuses for which security forces are culpable.

But until now Myanmar authorities have only blamed Rohingya militants for causing a human catastrophe that has left 655,000 of the minority in squalid camps in Bangladesh.

According to the UNICEF, 60,000 Rohingya children remain almost forgotten and trapped in appalling camps in central Rakhine where the shelters teeter on stilts above garbage and excrement. The army appointed a senior officer to investigate.

The Myanmar government, headed by one-time democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi - has since been accused of "ethnic cleansing" by the US and the UN.

"Some villagers from Inn Din village and security members confessed they killed 10 Bengali terrorists", the office said in its post, using a pejorative term for Rohingya and blaming militants for causing the unrest in the village.

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"It was found that there were no conditions to transfer the 10 Bengali terrorists to the police station and so it was made a decision to kill them", the military said, referring to the findings of the investigating team.

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's acknowledgment that the security forces were involved in the killing of these 10 individuals is an important step", Ambassador Scot Marciel said in a forum on media freedom with journalism students and reporters in the main city Yangon.

"Action will be taken against the villagers ... and the security force members who violated the rules of engagement according to the law", the statement said.

The military investigation was led by Lieutenant General Aye Win. The same officer had been in charge of a wider inquiry into the conduct of troops in the conflict that concluded in a report in November that no atrocities had taken place.

According to United Nations estimates, more than 655,000 Rohingya Muslims crossed into Bangladesh after the Myanmar army launched a crackdown on suspected Muslim insurgents blamed for carrying out attacks on security posts in restive Rakhine state on August 25.

Human rights organization Amnesty International claimed the admission exposes the extrajudicial killings of Rohingya, marking a "sharp departure from the army's policy of blanket denial of any wrongdoing".

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