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Myanmar mines target Rohingya Muslim refugees says Rights group

9/24/2017 12:00:00 AM   |      |   

 YANGON, Myanmar (AA): Myanmar’s military has been accused of laying mines in western Rakhine state, an international human rights group said on Saturday, as some 420,000 Rohingya Muslim civilians have fled the violence in the country since late August.

Citing evidence such as eyewitness accounts, independent reporting, and photo and video recordings, New York-based Human Rights Watch said on Saturday that the military had laid anti-personnel landmines at key crossing points on Myanmar’s western border with neighboring Bangladesh.

HRW said the landmines laid by soldiers along the border pose a grave risk to Rohingya villagers fleeing the ongoing atrocities.
“The dangers faced by thousands of Rohingya fleeing atrocities in Burma are deadly enough without adding landmines to the mix,” said HRW’s South Asia Director Meenakshi Ganguly, using Myanmar’s former name.

“The Burmese military needs to stop using these banned weapons, which kill and maim without distinction,” she said in a statement.
Witnesses told the group that Myanmar military personnel also planted mines on roads inside Rakhine prior to their attacks on predominantly Rohingya villages.

The group interviewed refugees who witnessed soldiers laying antipersonnel mines on roads during an attack on Rohingya villagers.
Mohammad, 39, said he saw a neighbor’s son step on one of the mines laid by the military. “The mine blew his right leg off,” said the statement.



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