2 police officers killed, 6 missing in attacks in Myanmar’s Rakhine state
Myanmar has announced that attacks on three police posts along the country’s western border with Bangladesh have claimed the lives of at least two officers while six more remain unaccounted for.
“According to initial information, two police officers were killed, two others were injured and six police are missing,” Tin Maung Swe, a senior official with the government of the restive state of Rakhine, said Sunday of the attacks which came near the town of Maungdaw in the early hours of morning.
Another police source said as many as eight policemen may have been killed, adding that some of the attackers could have also been killed in the clashes that ensued. The officer said the assailants also seized weapons from the border posts.
Officials in the capital, Naypyidaw, confirmed the attacks but would not give more details.
Rakhine, home to around a million members of the minority Rohingya Muslim community, has been the scene of communal violence since 2012. Many of the Muslims have been killed while tens of thousands have been forced to flee as a result of attacks by Buddhists. Most of the Rohingyas are largely confined to camps in dire situations.
The Rohingyas have no militant faction to fight for them but police in Myanmar and Bangladesh have blamed a number of attacks in the past on the Muslims.
Myanmar’s civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has asked former United Nations chief, Kofi Annan, to head a commission to address the sectarian divisions in Rakhine. The move has been welcomed by Rohingyas but the Buddhists, who claim the Muslims are intruders and should be deported to Bangladesh, deeply oppose it. Rights groups reject Buddhists’ designation of the Muslims, saying they have a proven ancestry in Myanmar that is deeply rooted in history.