The Rakhine State government held a press conference on Thursday to address allegations that police shot dead three Muslim Rohingya women at a refugee camp in Purein village in Mrauk-U Township.
Hla Thein, the chairman of the state’s Information Team, said, “On that day [Tuesday, June 4] at around 1:00 pm, a group of people came and attacked construction workers who were building new houses for the [displaced] people.”
It has been learned by Mizzima that the 32 construction workers, who were also Muslims, were constructing homes for the refugees. However, many of the Rohingyas believed that if they accepted these new houses they would lose their old homes and lands.
“The police were called in,” said the chairman. “The security forces fired rubber bullets above the people’s heads to disperse the crowd.”
He went on to explain that the security forces felt threatened by the crowd, and some may have leveled their guns at the people, but he had no evidence that they shot or used live ammunition.
He said that when police returned to the scene later, after the crowd had been dispersed, they discovered the bodies of three women.
The women were named as: Daw Hkaw Te Zar (aged 40), daughter of U Shawbe Ar Laung; Daw Nu Matt (50), daughter of U Ali Armout; and Daw Arlinisat (25), daughter of U Ee Su.
Hla Thein said that there were reports the women had been stabbed and that the killings took place during an ensuing fight between villagers.
“The death of the three Muslim women is still under investigation,” he said.
He mentioned that several people injured in the incident have been taken for treatment to Battalion Hka- La Ya (289) and a local health center.
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