The death toll of a violent security operation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state continues to rise.
Voice of America reported that the Myanmar military says about 400 people have now died within the last week, amid a security crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim minority population, who have long been denied citizenship in the largely Buddhist nation.
The military’s actions have drawn the ire of the United Nations and international advocacy group Human Rights Watch.
Of the 399 deaths over the last week, the Myanmar military said 370 were terrorists. The government has said those terrorists instigated the recent violence, specifically torching nearly 2,500 homes, but refugees claim Myanmar’s military started the attack and burned down the homes, CNN reported.
Despite a government attempt to tighten the Myanmar border, the U.N. estimated 50,000 Rohingya people have fled the violence — most of them into neighboring Bangladesh or a boundary area between the two countries.
Twenty bodies of Rohingya Muslims, including 12 children, were recovered from a river along the border on Thursday, CNN reported.
By Sam Howard