Rathedaung township authorities are investigating the deaths of three villagers whose mutilated bodies were found by a river on Monday in the violence-ridden northern part of Myanmar’s Rakhine state, the office of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi said.
The corpses of Iman Nusaw, 54, Nawra King, 18, and Nora Long, 15 were found decapitated or partially decapitated in Chutpyin village of Rathedaung township, the statement said.
Rathedaung, along with neighboring Maungdaw and Buithdaung townships, was placed under a security lockdown following deadly attacks on local border guard stations in October 2016 blamed on a group of Rohingya militants.
Some of the estimated 90,000 Rohingya who fled the area during the crackdown have accused security forces accused of committing atrocities against them.
The bodies of the three people, who were from Nilinpaw village, were sent to Rathedaung Public Hospital.
Also on Monday the State Counselor’s Office said authorities on July 27 arrested 25-year-old Anna Tula of Rathedaung’s Ahtet Nanya village, a suspected militant who participated in military training activities on Mayu mountain range in the Maungdaw-Buthidaung township area a month ago.
On July 30, guards and villagers found five temporary camps along the Mayu mountain range thought to be used by “terrorists,” along with tents, rice, cooking oil, plates, pots, blankets, and high-energy biscuits provided by the World Food Programme to Muslims who live in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in religiously divided Rakhine state.
The tents and other items were discovered during a search for Than Htay, who went missing from Chutpyin village, the statement said.
Though the crackdown ended in February, authorities recently put government soldiers and border guard police patrolling the area on high alert in the wake of a series of disappearances, murders, and other attacks on security forces.
The government has said that Muslim militants have been targeting Muslim villagers in the tri-township area who worked with authorities during and after the crackdown.
At least 44 civilians have been killed and 27 have been kidnapped or gone missing in northern Rakhine in the past nine months, according to the government.
Reported and translated by RFA’s Myanmar Service. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.