Myanmar Rohingya militants Arsa vow to fight on after attack

Myanmar Rohingya militants Arsa vow to fight on after attack
From BBC - January 7, 2018

A militant group from Myanmar's mostly Muslim Rohingya minority says it will keep fighting the government.

Attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa) last year sparked military reprisals that drove about 650,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh.

It now says it was behind an ambush on a military truck in Rakhine state on Friday that injured three people.

The group, seen as terrorists by Myanmar's government, say they are fighting for Rohingya political rights.

Who are Arsa?

Arsa operates in Rakhine state in northern Myanmar, where the Rohingya people have faced persecution. The Myanmar government has denied them citizenship and sees them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Clashes erupt periodically between ethnic groups, but in the past year, an armed Rohingya insurgency has grown.

Arsa has carried out only sporadic attacks, but early on 25 August last year, it launched assaults on about 30 police and army posts, triggering a fierce military response.

At the same time, the authorities accused Arsa fighters of killing 28 Hindu villagers whose bodies were allegedly found in a mass grave.

Jonathan Head, the BBC's South East Asia correspondent, says that not all Rohingya support the group, and their strategy is poorly formed.

What happened to the Rohingya?

At least 6,700 Rohingya were killed in the month after last August's violence, Mdecins Sans Frontires says.

After an internal investigation, in November the army exonerated itself of any blame regarding the crisis. It put the death toll at about 400.

What happened on Friday?

What may happen next?


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