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Rohingya Insurgents Stage Major Attack, Kill At Least 71

Rohingya Insurgents Stage Major Attack, Kill At Least 71

Turkey on Saturday said the situation in western Myanmar's Rakhine state can not be solved through violence as it condemned Friday's deadly attacks on border posts which left at least 89 people killed.

ROHINGYA separatists killed 71 people in overnight attacks on more than two dozen police and border posts in western Myanmar, the government said yesterday.

"The extremist Bengali insurgents attacked a police station in Maungdaw region in northern Rakhine state with a handmade bomb explosive and held coordinated attacks on several police posts at 1am [local time]", the statement read.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, a group previously known as Harakah al-Yaqin, reportedly claimed responsibility for the early morning offensive.

Rakhine State which is home to more than a million ethnic minority Rohingya Muslims has been the epicentre of religious violence since 2012.

Kofi Annan, who heads the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, released its '#Final Report' on the crisis in the region, calling for urgent action to improve the quality of life, social welfare and citizenship status of the Rohingya people.

Nevertheless, the commission said that a nuanced and comprehensive response was needed to "ensure that violence does not escalate and inter-communal tensions are kept under control", it said.

"We call on all parties to refrain from violence, protect civilians, restore law and order and resolve issues through dialogue and peaceful means", she said.

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This is the most significant outbreak of violence in Rakhine since October 2016, when nine policemen died in similar attacks on border posts.

"About 500 Rohingya, mostly women and children, spent the last night in a marshy area waiting to cross over", said Khan.

Following its policy of "zero tolerance" towards violent extremism and terrorism, Bangladesh assured Myanmar of continued cooperation in dealing with these challenges, according to the statement.

Bodies of what appeared to be Rohingya militants have been found at the sites of the raids on security installations in the northern part of Rakhine state, officials said.

The BGB official also noted that the Rohingyas claimed they had tried to enter Bangladesh following news that the Myanmar army exchanged fire with some insurgents in Rakhine State.

Rohingya had for many years not been regarded as citizens of Myanmar, and Rakhine State Muslims have been critical of the new verification process, citing it as discriminatory.

Rohingya are reviled and perceived as illegal immigrants in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, but they have lived in the country also called Burma for generations.

The leader of ARSA, Ata Ullah, has said hundreds of young Rohingya have joined the group, which says it is waging a legitimate defence against the army and for human rights. An estimated 87,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to Bangladesh since late past year.

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