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Rohingya Muslim crisis: Burma’s security forces using scorched earth tactics to drive out minority, new evidence finds

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Security forces in Burma are using scorched-earth tactics to drive out Rohingya Muslims, new evidence appears to show.

Entire Rohingya villages are being burned down by vigilante mobs and security forces in an orchestrated campaign that has lasted almost three weeks, campaigners have warned. Those trying to flee the attacks are being shot dead.

Fire-detection data, satellite imagery, photographs and videos from the ground has indicated at least 80 large-scale fires in inhabited areas across northern Rakhine State since 25 August, according to Amnesty International.

Satellite sensors during the same month-long period over the past four years detected no fires whatsoever of this magnitude anywhere in the state.

While the extent of the damage caused by the fires cannot be independently verified on the ground due to access restrictions by the Burma government, Amnesty said security forces are likely to have burned down whole villages, forcing tens of thousands to flee in terror.

Satellite images from the village tract of Inn Din, a mixed ethnic area in south Maungdaw, show how an area of Rohingya homes has been burned to the ground, while non-Rohingya areas alongside them appear to have been left untouched.

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The Independent

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