Hlun Htein opens fire at escaping women and children killing more than 30

December 5, 2016

More than 30 people, mostly women and children are feared dead as Hlun Htein forces opened fire on boats carrying Bangladesh bound refugees. The incident took place at the mouth of the river at Raimba Guna on Sunday night when gunfire forced the boat people to jump off and the vehicles capsized. 15 corpses, mostly belonging to little children have been recovered so far with locals expecting more to follow.

Our correspondent says that in the darkness, Hlun Htein personnal chased two boats and shot at them. While one of the boats escaped unscathed, the other with more than 30 passengers capsized.

The Rohingyas were from Bor Gazi Bil, one of the village tracts which was worst git during the violence of November 12 and 13. Around 150 people were earlier killed in the area when the military pounded Rohingya villages with helicopters, rocket launchers and machine guns after protesters armed with sticks stopped soldiers from carrying out rape of Rohingya women.

This is not the first time security forces have opened fire on escaping Rohingyas. Scores have died in many incidents when the boat people were shot at by the security forces on the Naf river separating Myanmar and Bangladesh. The shootings often happen after Bangladesh refuses entry to boats carrying Rohingya refugees and forces them back to Myanmar territory.

At least two of the drowning Rohingyas were rescued by Bangladeshi fishermen as they tried to swim towards the shore of that country, according to reports in the Bangladesh media. As yet, there are no reports of survivors on the Myanmar side.

Meanwhile locals discovered a mass grave holding eight corpses in Kya Ri Prang. In the days following the start of the recent crackdown, Tatmadaw forces burned down the village and killed scores. In one incident, at least six members of the same family, all of them children and women were stabbed to death.

In Sa Li Frang, it is reported that many of the women earlier raped over the weekend have been kept locked up in a local school. Locals say their cries can be still heard from that direction, creating the impression the Tatmadaw has continued to rape and torture them. Since Thursday, they have directed raids where women were raped and sexually molested in full view of the public. The Tatmadaw have kept up a heavy presence around Sa Li Frang and Ra Bai La, creating fears there will be more brutalities to follow.

Military also entered Bali Bazaar in the early morning hours of Sunday and fired continuously. Around 20 people, mostly women were arrested as they tried to flee the area. It is feared they will be raped in custody.

aylan r