Members of Myanmar’s security forces will face legal action over the hacking and shooting deaths of Rohingya Muslims in restive Rakhine state, a government spokesman said.
The killings of 10 Rohingya men occurred in the village of Inn Din in September last year and the bodies were buried in a mass grave after they were hacked to death or shot and killed by Buddhist neighbours and Myanmar soldiers.
“Action according to the law” will be taken against seven soldiers, three policemen, and six villagers as part of an army investigation, said government spokesman Zaw Htay on Sunday.
The military said in January the 10 slain Rohingya men belonged to a group of 200 “terrorists” who had attacked security forces. Buddhist villagers attacked some of them with swords and soldiers shot the others dead, it said.
But the military’s version of events was contradicted by accounts given to Reuters news agency by Rakhine Buddhist and Rohingya Muslim witnesses.
Buddhist villagers reported no rebel attack on security forces took place in Inn Din, and Rohingya witnesses told the news agency soldiers seized the 10 men from among hundreds of people who had sought safety on a nearby beach.
Nearly 690,000 Rohingya have fled Rakhine and crossed into southern Bangladesh since August, when attacks on security posts by rebels triggered a military crackdown that the United Nations has said may amount to genocide.
Myanmar’s government has denied the allegations.
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson met Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Sunday in the capital, Naypyidaw, to discuss how hundreds of thousands of Rohingya can be safely repatriated.
Suu Kyi – a Nobel Peace Prize laureate – has faced a barrage of international criticism for failing to halt the violence against the Rohingya.