The Myanmar Army said it has discovered a mass grave containing the bodies of 28 Hindus, including women and children. The army blamed the Muslim Rohingya militants for the mass murder. It has been reported that thousands of Hindus have fled villages where they once lived alongside Muslims, alleging that they were targeted by militants whose August 25 raids led to communal violence in Rakhine.
The announcement, however, could not be verified in a region where access was tightly controlled by Myanmar's Army. A statement published on the Aarmy chief's site said, "Security members found and dug up 28 dead bodies of Hindus who were cruelly and violently killed by ARSA extremist Bengali terrorists in Rakhine State."
The ARSA or the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army is the group whose attack on police posts triggered an army backlash so gruesome that the UN coined it as an ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority. More than 430,000 Rohingyas have fled the region to Bangladesh in under a month. Reports are making rounds saying that Myanmar soldiers are teaming up with vigilante mobs to slaughter civilians and burn entire villages to the ground.
Close to 30,000 Hindus and Buddhists in the area have also been displaced by the violence. Both the communities said that they have been terrorised by Rohingya militants.
The Army said that two graves, comprising 20 dead women and eight men were unravelled. Among them were six boys under the age of 10. The army said that they were led by a strong smell to the burial site outside of Ye Baw Kya village. The site is located near a cluster of Hindus and Muslim communities in northern Rakhine called Kha Maung Seik.
Last week, Hindus from the area told media that militants swept into the village with swords and knives and attacking whoever came in their way and taking others into the forest. The region has been the epicenter of religious tension since ages. However, the recent unrest that displaced thousands is considered to be the worst in the past few decades, calling for international intervention.