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Rakhine State

Myanmar sacks top general blamed for Rohingya killings

YANGON: Myanmar’s military said it sacked a top general who was named in fresh EU sanctions against security officials accused of serious rights violations in the Rohingya crisis, including killings and sexual violence. Myanmar is accused of waging a crackdown in Rakhine state that forced 700,000 to flee that the UN and major western powers have said amounts to “ethnic cleansing”. Its leaders have come under fire for taking little punitive action against the military, which has maintained its troops were responding to…

Myanmar police charge Reuters reporters under Official Secrets Act

YANGON: Two Reuters journalists were formally charged by police in a Myanmar court Wednesday for breaching a colonial-era secrecy law that carries up to 14 years in jail, despite calls for their immediate release. Myanmar nationals Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were arrested a month ago under the Official Secrets Act after they allegedly were given classified documents by two policemen over dinner. The pair had been reporting on the military campaign in the northern Rakhine state that has forced some 655,000…

Myanmar frees journalists working for Turkish broadcaster

NAYPYITAW: Myanmar on Friday freed two journalists for Turkey’s state broadcaster, their local interpreter and a driver after they completed a two-month jail sentence for violating an aircraft law by filming with a drone, a prison official said. Cameraman Lau Hon Meng from Singapore, reporter Mok Choy Lin from Malaysia, Aung Naing Soe — a local journalist who was interpreting for the pair — and driver Hla Tin were released from a prison at Yamethin, near the capital Naypyitaw. Police detained the two journalists on…

6,700 Rohingya killed in first month of Myanmar violence: MSF

YANGON: At least 6,700 Rohingya Muslims were killed in the first month of a Myanmar army crackdown on rebels in Rakhine state that began in late August, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Thursday. The figure is the highest estimated death toll yet of violence that erupted on August 25 and triggered a massive refugee crisis, with more than 620,000 Rohingya fleeing Myanmar for Bangladesh in three months. The UN and US have described the military operation as ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority, but have not…

Egypt’s Hasm militants claim attack targeting Myanmar embassy

CAIRO: Egyptian militant group Hasm claimed responsibility on Sunday for a small explosion at Myanmar’s embassy in Cairo, saying it was in retaliation for that country’s military crackdown on Rohingya Muslims. Egypt’s interior ministry has not commented on Saturday’s blast, which residents and media initially reported as probably the result of a faulty gas pipeline. Two security sources told Reuters that traces of explosives had been found at the scene. “This bombing serves as a warning to the embassy of murderers, killers…

Dalai Lama says Buddha would have helped Myanmar’s Muslims

NEW DELHI: The Dalai Lama has spoken out for the first time about the Rohingya refugee crisis, saying Buddha would have helped Muslims fleeing violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have arrived in Bangladesh in recent weeks after violence flared in neighboring Myanmar, where the stateless Muslim minority has endured decades of persecution. The top Buddhist leader is the latest Nobel Peace Prize laureate to speak out against the violence, which the U.N. special rapporteur on human…

Bangladesh minister speaks of ‘genocide’ in Myanmar’s Rakhine

DHAKA: Bangladesh's foreign minister said on Sunday that genocide was being waged in Myanmar's violence-racked Rakhine state, triggering an exodus of nearly 300,000 Muslim Rohingya to his country. "The international community is saying it is a genocide. We also say it is a genocide," A.H. Mahmood Ali told reporters after briefing diplomats in Dhaka. Ali met Western and Arab diplomats and the heads of UN agencies based in Bangladesh to seek support for a political solution and humanitarian aid for the Rohingya. He…