YANGON:The headless body of a Muslim villager has been found days after he spoke to reporters on a rare government-guided media tour of restive northern Rakhine State, Myanmar police said on Friday.
Troops have taken control of the dangerous and remote region bordering Bangladesh since October 9 when armed men raided police posts, killing nine officers.
At least 34,000 Rohingya Muslims have since fled to Bangladesh, taking with them allegations of mass-killings, rape and torture at the hands of Myanmar security forces.
Troops have killed more than 80 people throughout the crackdown, according to official figures, while conflict analysts say several Muslim villagers have also been killed by the militants whose attacks sparked the latest unrest.
Police did not give a motive for the killing of the 41-year-old man, whose body was found floating in a river, but said he spoke to Burmese journalists on Wednesday in Ngakhura village.
“On Thursday his family said he had disappeared after giving interviews to journalists… so we opened the case,” Police Colonel Thet Naing in Maungdaw town told AFP.
“This afternoon (Friday) I got the report his headless body was found… we have confirmed from villagers that it is him,” he said, adding police went to the scene of the grisly find.
Two Burmese reporters, who did not want to be named, told AFP that they interviewed the man on Wednesday at his village and had been contacted by police to say he was missing.
The rare media tour — open only to Burmese journalists — was organised by the government amid mounting pressure on de facto civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi to probe reports of army abuses and allow access to a zone home to the stateless Rohingya minority.