Naypyidaw: Five policemen and seven Rohingya Muslim militants are preliminarily reported to have been killed in a large series of attacks on 24 police posts and an army base in the troubled northwest Myanmar state of Rakhine.
The militants mounted 24 coordinated assaults on police posts throughout the western state and tried to break into an army base, according to reports cited by Reuters.
The incident is the latest in an escalating wave of violence between government forces and the Muslim Rohingya minority in the southeast Asian country. A similar attack in October, in which nine police officers were killed, prompted a severe government response that was highly criticized for its alleged human rights abuses, rapes, extrajudicial killings and other atrocities.
As a result of the military’s counter-operation, some 87,000 Rohingya fled into nearby Bangladesh while their villages were razed to the ground. The Myanmar government has dismissed a UN report released in February that documented the atrocities, despite it being based on the testimony of over 200 witnesses.
Friday’s attack came a day after the release of the final report of the Advisory Commission headed by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan into religious and ethnically-driven conflict in Myanmar, which warned that radicalization among Rohingya Muslims was possible if the situation deteriorated.