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Myanmar security adviser says all military operations in Rakhine 'legal'

News Agencies | Updated on: 30 August 2017, 18:56 IST

Myanmar's National Security Adviser U Thaung Tun said all military operations against terrorists in Rakhine state are legal.

Countering criticism of recent military actions against Rohingya insurgents, Tun said, "We will exercise our right to defend ourselves. We will be disciplined in our response, and it is all legal."

According to the Myanmar Times, Tun's statement came before the Minister of Home Affairs Lt. General Kyaw Swe, and other senior officials met with the heads of diplomatic missions and UN agencies at the National Reconciliation and Peace Center (NRPC) in Yangon.

He termed the terror strikes as a crime against the citizens of Myanmar, against the nation and against law and order.

The government officials confirmed that the attacks was administered by The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) who were armed with knives and home-made bombs'

The insurgents attacked more than 40 police posts and checkpoints and one military base in three townships in Northern Rakhine and there have been more than 60 clashes between security forces and terrorists since Friday.

More clashes are reported to have taken place over the weekend, displacing thousands of civilians from both communities.

At least 100 people, mostly insurgents, have been reported killed in the latest violence.

Police Brigadier General Win Tun said, "Many clashes have occurred while security forces carry out clearance operations," adding that the operations were being conducted "according to the rule of law."

He further asserted that many local Muslim participated in the attacks because the terrorists threatened them if they refused.

More than 18,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state have entered Bangladesh in less than a week.

Satellite data accessed by a rights body shows widespread fires burning in at least 10 areas in the country's Rohingya Muslim population state.

The government admitted militants burned down "minority-ethnic villages", while the militants attributed the blazes to the security forces and local Buddhists.

Residents and activists have accused soldiers of shooting indiscriminately at unarmed Rohingya men, women and children and carrying out arson attacks.

The Rakhine State is home to the Rohingya community of Myanmar, ethnic Muslims, who have long faced persecution in the Buddhist-majority country, especially from the country's Buddhist extremists. 


First published: 30 August 2017, 18:56 IST