Medical charity says treated Rohingyas near massacre site

2014-01-27 02:25:54 | Al Muslim News
Medical charity says treated Rohingyas near massacre site


Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said it had treated 22 people in Myanmar's western Rakhine state who had apparently been wounded last week around the time of a reported massacre of Rohingya Muslims. The United Nations and human rights groups have said that at least 40 Rohingya were killed by security forces and ethnic Rakhine Buddhist civilians in mid-January in a restricted area of the conflict-ridden western state. The United States said it was "deeply disturbed" by the reports and called on the government to launch an "immediate, credible, and independent investigation." On Friday, government spokesman Ye Htut denied there had been any mass killing, in line with statements over the past week. But information provided by Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) further eroded the position of the government, which is facing international pressure to conduct an investigation. "MSF has treated at least 22 patients, including several wounded, that are believed to be victims of the violence that erupted in Du Char Yar Tan village in southern Maungdaw township on Jan. 14," said Peter-Paul de Groote, the charity's head in Myanmar. The organization, which runs a nearby clinic, said most victims had suffered knife wounds, while one was shot and three were beaten, one severely. MSF said it was concerned that more victims could need medical treatment and urged the government to allow access to the area. Incidents in Maungdaw township and other parts of Rakhine state are difficult to verify independently as those places are off limits to journalists and the government strictly controls access by international aid groups. If confirmed, the massacre would take to at least 277 the number of people killed in attacks against Rohingya Muslims across Myanmar since June 2012. More than 140,000 people have been displaced. On Friday, the United States embassy urged senior Myanmar officials "to speak out publicly on the importance of respect and tolerance and to avoid speculating on the details of what took place". It also called on the government to conduct an impartial investigation with the United Nations. "We are particularly disturbed by reports that some of the deaths and injuries may have resulted from security forces' use of excessive force," a U.S. embassy official told Reuters..

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