Monday, June 17, 2024

Myanmar military resumes attacks against Rohingyas, at least 20 killed and dozens injured in airstrikes

More than 20 Rohingyan civilians have reportedly been killed in a Myanmar military bombing in Minbya province of Rakhine state.

According to residents, children, women and elderly are among the casualties, AFP reported.

Thar Dar, a predominantly Rohingya village about 5km (3 miles) north of Minbya, was hit by the air raid, early on Monday, killing 10 men, four women and 10 children, one resident told Al Jazeera.

The western state began to witness the bloodshed again as clashes erupted between the Arakan Army (AA) and the Myanmar military in November, ending a ceasefire largely effective since the coup in 2021.

Locals claim that the airstrikes were deliberately carried out to target villages with Rohingyan Muslim population in the name of fighting rebels.

“There was no fighting in our village and they bombed us,” a resident, on condition of anonymity, told Al Jazeera.

They further alleged that the Junta regime carried out mass arrests during widespread raids that took place on Monday night.

Some of the witnesses claimed 23 people had been killed in the blast and 18 wounded.

Meanwhile, the United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has expressed “alarm” at reports that the Myanmar military is bombing civilian areas.

“The expansion of conflict in Rakhine State is driving displacement and exacerbating pre-existing vulnerabilities and discrimination. The secretary general calls on all parties to prevent further incitement of communal tensions,” Farhan Haq, the UN chief’s deputy spokesperson, said.

Rohingyan Muslims have been subjected to persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar for decades and over a million of them live in camps in district of Cox’s Bazar, a border district of neighbouring Bangladesh.

Most of them fled their homes after the military crackdown in 2017.

Military regime of Myanmar views Rohingyas as foreign elements and has denied them citizenship.

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