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Annan urges economic, social reform in Myanmar state


Friday's incident marks the first such major attacks by the insurgents in Rakhine since October 9 previous year when nine border police stations and outposts in the region similarly came under simultaneous attacks, resulting in the deaths of nine officers and eight attackers.

The ARSA was previously known as Harakah Al-yaqin that attacked a police camp in last October.

Rohingya had for many years not been regarded as citizens of Myanmar, and Rakhine State Muslims have been critical of the new verification process, citing it as discriminatory.

It now appears to have spawned a potent insurgency which has grown in size, observers say.

Violence has again scorched through the region, leaving at least 92 dead since early Friday and forcing thousands of civilians - Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine - to flee their homes.

A news team affiliated with the office of national leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace laureate, said that one soldier, one immigration officer, 10 policemen and 59 insurgents had been killed in the fighting.

The Rohingya Muslim community in Rakhine is referred to by many, including the government, as "Bengali" to suggest they are interlopers from Bangladesh.

Myanmar security forces were attacked by militants at many police and border outposts in the Rakhine state during the night and police have confirmed that 25 people have died.




However, global observers have also expressed concerns about the language and nature of statements by the government regarding the incidents, which sources in Rakhine say are fuelling hate against the wider Rohingya civilian community and other Muslim populations.

Over 150 fighters were involved in the attack, which took place in the Maungdaw township at 1am on Friday.

One Maungdaw resident, a provincial government employee, told VOA that although Buddhist Rakhines fear for their safety, "there is no way out of here".

The commission published its final report on the day of the attacks, recommending the government act quickly to improve economic development and social justice in Rakhine state to resolve violence between Buddhists and the Rohingya.

Annan condemned the violence on Friday, saying "no cause can justify such brutality and senseless killing". United Nations human rights investigators and independent rights organizations charge that soldiers and police killed and raped civilians and burned down more than 1,000 homes during the operations.

Myanmar says the group is headed by Rohingya jihadists who were trained overseas but it is unclear how large the network is and they appear to be using homespun weapons in addition to guns seized during their raids. We must not allow our work to be derailed by the violent actions of extremists. If the government forces do not torture them, Rohingya will not enter.

Fleeing fresh attacks Saturday, the Rohingya Muslims were halted at the Naf river on the border with Bangladesh, Bangladeshi security officials said.

Unwanted by Myanmar, the Rohingya are unwelcome in Bangladesh, which already hosts tens of thousands of refugees from the Muslim minority.

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