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Government dismisses claims of abuse against Rohingya

A government-appointed commission has cleared Myanmar security forces of systematic rape, murder and arson against Rohingya Muslims, dismissing UN allegations of widespread abuses during a recent crackdown.

The commission examined the deadly violence which began in northwestern Rakhine state in October last year after suspected Rohingya fighters killed nine policemen in coordinated attacks on border guard posts near Bangladesh.

In the ensuing military operation, security forces allegedly shot villagers at random, raped Rohingya women and burned down more than 1,000 houses.

The commission’s findings were released as the government is refusing to allow a three-member UN mission to conduct its own probe into whether the security response amounted to “ethnic cleansing” of the stateless Rohingya minority.

Giving their conclusions on Sunday, the state-backed commission revealed that any “excessive actions” were likely committed by low-rank “individual members of the security forces”.

“Some incidents [of abuse] appeared to be fabricated … others had little evidence,” the commission said in a press release.

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