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Rohingya Terrorist groups holding over 1600 Hindus and 120 Buddhists hostage in Myanmar

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In what seems to echo the 2017 massacre of Hindus by Rohingya terror groups in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, a similar crisis has unfolded in Buthiduang, Arakan state, where Hindus and Buddhists are being held captive.

“With unrest and instability expanding to Buthidaung, the volatility has taken a new turn with Islamic terror groups working on behest of the military to kill and terrorise ethnic groups on the basis of religion. There are over 1600 Hindus and over 120 Buddhists who have been held hostage by them there at present,” said a source.

Uncertainty surrounds the survival or release of these hostages.

Religious and ethnic riots have made residents run for their lives. Two not so lucky youth were found dead on April 11 with their throats slit. This was the first such incident in this area since turmoil erupted after the military began to fight Arakan Army rebel groups in November 2023.

“Myanmar’s military regime provided basic military training to members of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and Arakan Rohingya Army (ARA) to fight against the AA (Arakan Army),” the source added.

It has been alleged that Rohingya terror groups are looting houses of those held captive and even burning them down.

Rebel groups are appealing to Islamic religious groups to not fall prey to the religious division that the present attack is leading to. The rebels have reaffirmed that they will protect all residents irrespective of their religious or ethnic beliefs.

It may be recalled that in 2017, Rohingya terror groups had massacred nearly 100 Hindus in Rakhine state including women and children. Amnesty International had carried a detailed investigation into the incident which included interviews that they took in Bangladesh.

In May 2018, human rights organization Amnesty International brought to light a seemingly under-reported massacre of scores of Hindus and other ethnic minorities allegedly by armed Rohingya militants in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

Amnesty published an investigative report based on interviews conducted in Myanmar and neighboring Bangladesh, as well as photographic evidence analyzed by forensic pathologists. The report said that Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) fighters “sowed fear among Hindus and other ethnic communities with these brutal attacks”.

ARSA allegedly killed 99 Hindu women, men, and children, as well as abducting many other villagers, in August 2017, something the western media seemed to have glossed over.

ARSA, also called Harakah al-Yaqin, allegedly launched coordinated attacks on Myanmar’s security forces in August 2017, following which, the Myanmar military led a crackdown that pushed more than 740,000 Rohingya Muslims into neighboring Bangladesh. The international community criticized the Myanmar government and western media called out State Counselor and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, saying she had “excused a genocide”.

Amid all this, ARSA managed to keep a low-profile but reports suggest that the outfit had been receiving support from transnational jihadists, as well as the ISI. In February last year, the German news agency DW came out with a sensational report claiming that ARSA had started radicalizing Rohingya refugees in the camps in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.

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