October 21, 2017
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3 Rohingya women shot dead by police at refugee camp

A camp for displaced Rohingya people in Rakhine State. Photo: UNHCR

Three Muslim Rohingya women have been shot dead in a confrontation with security forces in a violence-torn region of western Myanmar, police said Wednesday.

The incident happened on Tuesday in a camp for victims of communal violence in Parein in Rakhine State, local police officer Maung Maung Mya told AFP by telephone.

"The three died as warning shots were fired," he said, adding that four others were injured.

He said tensions had erupted because some Rohingya at the camp were refusing to move to new shelters provided by the authorities.

"They think they will lose their own land if they are moved to the new shelters. So they don't move."

Up to 140,000 people—mainly Rohingya—were displaced in two waves of sectarian unrest between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine last year that left about 200 people dead.

Myanmar views its population of roughly 800,000 Rohingya as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. They are considered by the United Nations to be one of the world's most persecuted minorities.

A government official in Rakhine confirmed the three deaths, blaming Rohingya camp dwellers for attacking security forces because they were unhappy with the new shelters, but it was not possible to verify his account of the events.
"The security forces there had to fire back because they cannot control the violence," he said.

Thousands of Rohingya have fled Myanmar in rickety and overcrowded boats since the Rakhine violence erupted last year. Scores have died making the perilous journey south towards Thailand and Malaysia.

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