UN: Myanmar Likely Guilty of Ethnic Cleansing

UN: Myanmar Likely  Guilty of Ethnic Cleansing UN: Myanmar Likely  Guilty of Ethnic Cleansing

Myanmar's security forces have committed mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya Muslims and burned their villages since October in a campaign that "very likely" amounts to crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing, the UN human rights office said on Friday.

"The 'area clearance operations' have likely resulted in hundreds of deaths," said the report from the United Nations' human rights office, referring to the military crackdown launched on October 10 in the wake of a deadly attack on military post.

Witnesses had testified to "the killing of babies, toddlers, children, women and elderly; opening fire at people fleeing; burning of entire villages; massive detention; massive and systematic rape and sexual violence; deliberate destruction of food and sources of food", the report said.

The report based on interviews with 204 Rohingya refugees who have fled to Bangladesh recounted gruesome violations allegedly perpetrated by members of Myanmar's security services or civilian fighters working alongside the military and police.

The Rohingya numbering some 1.1 million are loathed by many among Myanmar's Buddhist majority and live in apartheid-like conditions in Rakhine state.

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