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Thousands evacuated as Rakhine burns

Thousands evacuated as Rakhine burns

She said the attacks underscored the importance of the government implementing recommendations of a commission chaired by former United Nations chief Kofi Annan, which published its final report on Thursday recommending that the government act quickly to improve economic development and social justice in Rakhine state to resolve violence between Buddhists and the Rohingya.

Following the attack on Friday, the army declared war against "terrorism" killing many and besieging townships of Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung, a home to almost 800,000 people, imposing a curfew in the area from 6 pm to 6 am.

In a video posted online on Monday, ARSA leader Ata Ullah, flanked by two gun-toting men in masks, warned Myanmar against "oppressing" Rohingya and vowed to keep fighting to protect the rights of the community.

The mass escape from the northern part of Rakhine state was triggered by widespread coordinated offensives by Rohingya insurgents wielding sticks, knives and homemade bombs in attacks that began on August 25 on 30 police posts and an army base.

"The soldiers and security forces were not able to go as far as they thought they could", Nyi Pu said.

Most Rohingya are denied citizenship and its rights.

The statement says they hope that the State will take into consideration the safety and security of the civilian communities in this just war.

The death toll in ongoing clashes in Myanmar's northwestern Rakhine State has climbed to at least 96, as thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been trying to cross into neighboring Bangladesh.

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It said that the ARSA are likely aware that their attacks will to lead to a strong military response, as they did in the aftermath of the 2016, and harm Rohingya villagers, many who have already been forced to flee.

Facing claims of crimes against humanity for army attacks on the minority Muslim Rohingya population, Suu Kyi's administration has sought to severely restrict access to Rakhine for aid groups and the media while publicly discrediting them.

An estimated 2,000 Rohingya were believed to have made it across the border overnight.

The Myanmar army has been accused of carrying out extrajudicial killings in the restive Rakhine region, with residents and activists accusing soldiers of shooting indiscriminately at unarmed Rohingya men, women and children and carrying out arson attacks.

More than 120,000 Rohingya fled over the following five years to Bangladesh and Southeast Asia, often braving perilous sea journeys controlled by brutal trafficking gangs.

Such attacks deserve to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

On August 8, the MHA had issued an advisory titled Identification of illegal migrants and monitoring thereof, asking states to take "prompt steps in identifying the illegal migrants and initiate deportation processes expeditiously and without delay".

The attacks will also harm the group's claim that it is fighting for the cause of the Rohingya, it said, adding that the group will face "international censure" for the attacks.

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