Myanmar police said Monday that they have discovered at least 28 slain Hindu women and boys in two mass graves in the Southeast Asian country’s conflict-torn northern Rakhine state. The government blames Muslim insurgents for the killings.
Myanmar Border Guard Police Maj. Zayar Nyein in northern Rakhine said the graves were discovered Sunday and contain bodies of 20 females and eight males, and that more bodies are believed to be buried.
The government’s Information Committee said on its Facebook page that all eight were boys, including six under 10 years old.
Police blame the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army insurgent group, or ARSA. Security forces say the bodies are among about 100 Hindus missing since ARSA attacked at least 30 police outposts Aug. 25.
There was no immediate way to independently verify the government’s assertions.
A government crackdown that followed the attacks left more than 200 Rohingya Muslim villages burned and sent at least 420,000 Rohingya fleeing into Bangladesh. The government has said most of the hundreds of people who were killed were insurgents.
The Information Committee said the 28 bodies were found in Yebawkya village of Maungdaw township, which was hardest hit by the violence.
It said a Hindu man who lived in the village and has since fled to Bangladesh told a local leader that ARSA insurgents took about 100 Hindus from the village and killed all of them except for eight women who were forced to convert to Islam and brought to Bangladesh.
The committee said nearby residents searched and found two pits holding the bodies in the northwest part of the village.