A resistance group in Myanmar claimed responsibility on Sunday for an ambush of government forces in Rakhine State that left three people wounded, saying it had no choice but to defend the Rohingya from “state-sponsored terrorism.”
In a statement posted on Twitter, Atta Ullah, who identifies himself as commander of the rebel group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, said the attack on Friday morning in Maungdaw had been staged in response to efforts by Myanmar’s security forces to drive the Rohingya, a Muslim minority in a Buddhist-majority country, from the area.
Mr. Atta Ullah accused government forces of continuing to kill civilians, rape women and destroy villages in a campaign of genocide.
More than 650,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since the Myanmar military began its campaign in late August, joining roughly 87,000 who had fled earlier. Survivors have given consistent, harrowing accounts of gang rapes, torture, random killings and the destruction of villages.
The campaign against the Rohingya has been called “ethnic cleansing” by the United States and the United Nations.