A mass grave containing dead bodies of Hindus has been found in Myanmar and the country's army has blamed Rohingya extremists for the slaughter. Many of the Hindu victims were either women or children, said the military.
Situation in Myanmar's Rakhine state has constantly worsened since late August after violence broke out in the region forcing as many as 420,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh. Myanmar's military blamed the armed Rohingya insurgents for launching an attack on them and triggering a fresh bout of violence.
In the latest development, the Myanmar military on Sunday, 24 September, said it has found a mass grave of 28 dead bodies of Hindus. However, it is yet to be independently confirmed.
"Security members found and dug up 28 dead bodies of Hindus who were cruelly and violently killed by ARSA [Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army] extremist Bengali terrorists in Rakhine State," the army said in a statement. Hundreds of Hindus have also escaped from the restive Rakhine region in the past weeks amid the ongoing mass Rohingya exodus.
The ARSA was the organisation accused of mounting an attack against the security forces in August. The government has also later corroborated the accounts of mass grave to the AFP news agency. Unverifiable pictures of the mass grave have also surfaced.
"The Burmese usually don't know the Rohingya language. Though the attackers covered their face with dark clothes, they seemed to be Rohingyas," a Hindu victim, who has been displaced and faced the wrath of Rohingya violence, told the Bangladesh-based BDNews24.com on condition of anonymity.
Discovery of Hindu mass graves is bound to escalate the sharply polarised conflict along the communal lines. Rakhine region is not just home for the ethnic Rohingya Muslims, who are largely considered stateless minorities by the Buddhist-majority Myanmar, but also an array of similar communities.