The Burmese military have reportedly killed several people in Arakan state after opening fire on residents amid the ongoing sectarian clashes in the region, according to a local government official.
“Four Arakanese people were killed yesterday morning [in Letsaungkauk] – the army shot one of them. And in the evening, there was an arson attack in a village up the Kaladan River and troops opened fire on young Arakanese youths going home on a boat,” said a local government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, during an interview with DVB.
“Ten of them arrived at the hospital where two later died. It happened in Taungbway village about three miles [north] of Kyauktaw.”
The official said the situation seemed to have calmed down today because people were too afraid to leave their homes after the army beefed up security in the area and began opening fire on crowds yesterday.
“There is tension between the troops and the town’s residents… for the time being, Arakanese people can’t go out in groups,” said the official.
“Yesterday, troops were shooting at anyone approaching the area where riots were taking place. They also used teargas.”
On Friday, the official death toll reached 112 – surpassing the number killed during the rioting in June.
According to an update from the Popular News Journal, Home Affairs Minister Lieutenant General Ko Ko said he planned on sending more troops to western Burma and was prepared to undertake steps as provided in Chapter 11 of the country’s constitution, which concerns the legal measures that can be taken during a State of Emergency.
The Lower House’s Rule of Law Committee headed by Aung San Suu Kyi submitted an emergency proposal regarding the unrest in Arakan state, according to a report in The Voice Weekly.
The proposal called on the Union government to increase security in the region to suppress the rioting and investigate human rights abuses through transparent judicial procedures.
Thousands have been forced to flee their homes as communal rioting between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims entered its sixth day and continue to spread through Arakan state.
-Peter Aung and Ye Thu provided additional reporting.