Sunday 20 April 2014

Burma accused of backing violence

President Barack Obama steps from the Marine One helicopter before boarding en route to Burma (AP)

A leading international rights group is accusing Burma security forces of supporting some of the brutal anti-Muslim violence last month that forced 35,000 people from torched homes.

The allegations come one day before President Barack Obama visits Burma after a year and a half of unprecedented democratic reforms in the country.

Human Rights Watch said soldiers in some parts of western Rakhine state tried to stop Buddhist attacks and protect Muslim civilians, known as Rohingya.

But the group said Burma needs to do much more to protect the stateless minority, who are denied citizenship because they are considered foreigners from Bangladesh.

The New York-based rights group released new satellite imagery Sunday detailing extensive destruction of Muslim areas across Rakhine state.

There was no immediate comment from Burma's government on the allegations.

Press Association

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