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An internally displaced Rohingya woman holds her newborn baby surrounded by children in the foreground of makeshift tents at a camp for Rohingya people in Sittwe, northwestern Rakhine State, Burma, May 13, 2013. (Representational image). VOA

Nay Pyi Taw, December 24, 2016: Myanmar authorities reported the death of a Rohingya Muslim in Rakhine state days after he spoke with the media visiting the region, officials said on Saturday.

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The decapitated body was found on the outskirts of Doe Dan, while his head was thrown near the country’s border with Bangladesh, a police official told The Irrawaddy daily.

While the authorities did not provide any further information, local media said his killing could have been in reprisal for his giving interviews to independent media entities during a visit earlier in the week, Efe news reported.

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The victim, who was found on Thursday, had said in a video that during the military deployment, more than 1,000 people had left the village.

A spate of violence erupted on October 9, after three police posts were attacked in Maungdaw – a town on the border of Rakhine and Bangladesh – and were attributed to Rohingya insurgents, which led to retaliation by the Myanmar military.

Since then, human rights organisations have reported several incidents of torture, robbery, execution and rape by the army against the Rohingyas and according to official data, it is estimated that nearly 100 people died in the last two months of the military operation in the region.

Human Rights Watch reported last week that 1,500 buildings had been burnt since the authorities deployed armed forces in the region and the UN said that 30,000 people have been rendered homeless and 27,000 others have fled to Bangladesh.

However, the government, headed by de-facto leader and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi, has denied these reports and claims that the army has followed the law.

More than a million Rohingya people live in Rakhine, where they have suffered discrimination since the outbreak of sectarian violence in 2012 that left at least 160 people dead and around 120,000 of them have lived severely restricted lives in 67 camps.

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The authorities in Myanmar do not recognize the Rohingyas as citizens, but shun them as Bangladeshi immigrants, and impose multiple constraints on them, including restrictions on movement. (IANS)


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