Village Official Stabbed to Death in Myanmar’s Restive Rakhine State

myanmar-maungdaw-buthidaung-rathedaung-rakhine-state-oct-2016.jpg The map shows Maungdaw, Buthidaung, and Rathedaung townships in western Myanmar's Rakhine state.
RFA graphic

A local administrator was found dead in Buthidaung township in western Myanmar’s turbulent Rakhine state on Sunday, the State Counselor’s Office announced on Tuesday.

An unknown group of people killed Tahhrl, the administrator of the township’s Michaung Khaungswae village, in a nighttime attack, the announcement said.

His body was found with stab wounds on his neck and cuts on his right eyebrow and lips, it said.

Local police opened a case, and an investigation is under way.

Other recent deaths possibly caused by extremists blamed for a major attack on government guard posts last October have occurred in the area.

An administrative official from Pazonchaung village in Buthidaung township was killed by unknown assailants on May 19, while another while another remains missing after being abducted.

An accidental explosion of handmade bombs in Buthidaung’s Theni village on May 4 killed two people and injured three others as the victims assembled bombs. Security personnel who checked the village the following day found bags of potassium nitrate, sulfur, coal powder, and other materials used to make bombs near a forest.

Thirty civilians have been killed and 22 others have gone missing in neighboring Maungdaw township since Oct. 9, 2016, when deadly attacks on three local border guard posts occurred.

Buthidaung, along with Maungdaw and Rathedaung townships in the northern part of Rakhine state, were under a four-month crackdown from October 2016 to February 2017 after the raid by a militant group that claimed to represent the country’s Muslim Rohingya community.

About 1,000 people were killed during the crackdown, and roughly 90,000 Rohingya were displaced, with most of them fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh where they are living in refugee camps.

Rakhine state is home to about 1.1 million Rohingya, about 120,000 of whom live in internally displaced persons camps as a result of communal violence with majority Buddhists in 2012.

The Rohingya are denied basic rights, freedom of movement, and access to social services and education because they are viewed as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, although most have lived in Myanmar for generations.

Reported by Kyaw Thu for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khet Mar. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.

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