Violence Between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar/Burma Escalates Dramatically

Though media recorded the killing of almost 100 people, sources from Rohingya reported the killing of at least 800 people belonging to the Muslim minority which included men, women and children in the violence.

Advocates for the Rohingya on social media have been reporting many army raids on villages, including killings and the burning down of homes.

In February, Francis issued a stinging criticism of the treatment of Myanmar's Rohingya community, saying they had been tortured and killed simply because they wanted to keep their culture and Muslim faith.

The death toll from the violence that erupted on Friday with coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents has climbed to 98, the government said.

Over several decades, the government has made consistent efforts to erase the minority-Muslim Rohingya's historical ties to Rakhine state that date to the 8th Century A.D.by denying them basic human rights such as citizenship, access to education, among others.

Locals and activists accuse the state police of shooting indiscriminately at unarmed Rohingya men, women and children and carrying out arson attacks in what they have declared is a war against "terrorism", especially around the townships of Maungdaw, Buthidaung, and Rathedaung.

The repatriation deals prove two things: That Rohingyas are Myanmar citizens and that bilateral talks between the two nations can yield results.

Myanmar authorities have previously said they have links to militants trained by the Pakistani Taliban.

The villagers were caught inside Bangladesh en route to a border refugee camp in Kutupalong, where thousands of Rohingya refugees already live in squalid conditions.

Farid Alam, a Bangladeshi who lives in Amtoli village, through which many Rohingya have crossed the border, told the AP on Saturday that over last two days, at least 2,000 Rohingya had entered Bangladesh.

"While raiding Rohingya villages, the Burmese brutal military soldiers bring along with them groups of Rakhine (Buddhist) extremists to attack Rohingya villagers, loot Rohingyas' properties and later burn down Rohingya houses", the group said via its Twitter account @ARSA_Official.

Thousands of Rohingya have attempted to flee the violence across the border to Bangladesh, where border guards tried to push them back, leaving many refugees stranded.

Facing claims of crimes against humanity for army attacks on the minority Muslim Rohingya population, Suu Kyi's administration has sought to severely restrict access to Rakhine for aid groups and the media while publicly discrediting them.

Police said some of those detained had entered Bangladesh via the Ghumdhum border area - where the Myanmar forces had unleashed a barrage of fire just hours earlier. Arsa took advantage of the resentment by stepping up recruitment of members.

More than 100 people, including some 80 militants, have been confirmed killed.

"Many of the new arrivals are women and children including some un-accompanied and/or separated children".

Such attacks deserve to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

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