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Rohingya insurgents say 10 found in Myanmar grave 'innocent civilians'

From Reuters - January 12, 2018

YANGON (Reuters) - Rohingya Muslim insurgents said on Saturday that ten Rohingya found in a mass grave in Myanmars troubled Rakhine state last month were innocent civilians, and not members of their group.

Myanmars military said earlier this week its soldiers had killed 10 captured Muslim terrorists during insurgent attacks at the beginning of September, after Buddhist villagers had forced the captured men into a grave the villagers had dug.

It was a rare acknowledgment of wrongdoing by the Myanmar military during its operations in the western state of Rakhine.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), whose raids against security posts starting last August sparked sweeping military operations in the Muslim-majority northern part of Rakhine, said it whole-heartedly welcomes the admission of war crimes by the Burmese terrorist army.

We hereby declare that these ten innocent Rohingya civilians found in the said mass grave in Inn Din Village Tract were neither ARSA nor had any association with ARSA, the group said in a statement on Twitter.

A Myanmar government spokesman said in response to ARSAs statement that sometimes terrorists and villagers were allied in attacks against security forces.

We have already said it is very difficult to segregate who is a terrorist and who are innocent villagers, spokesman Zaw Htay said. There will be an ongoing investigating process whether they are members of ARSA or not.

The Myanmar military did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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