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The AP finds Rohingya massgraves in Myanmar in the latest proof of what the UN calls the murder of a Moslem population.
BLOCHALI REFUGEE CAMP, Bangladesh -- The faces of the men half dead in the tombs were burnt by acids or hit by shells. The Kadir and 14 others, all Rohingya Muslims in the Gu Dar Pyin community in Myanmar, had chosen gamers for the soccer-like play of Chinlon when the shooting began.
Spreading out from what seemed like heavy rains on a metal canopy. When the Myanmar army ceased firing, only Kadir and two team mates were out there. A few weeks later, Kadir found six of his buddies under the corpses in two tombs. The Associated Press confirms them in several feedbacks with more than two tens of refugees in Bangladesh and in time-stamped cell phone cassettes.
Myanmar's administration periodically maintains that such Rohingya massacre never took place and has only recognized one collective burial with 10 "terrorists" in the town of Inn Din. But the AP report shows a systemic killing of Rohingya Muslim citizens by the army, with the help of buddhistic neighbours - and proposes that many more tombs keep many more souls.
" These tombs are the latest proof of indigenous massacres in Myanmar's Rakhine state on Rohingya, a long prosecuted ethnical Moslem majority in the predominantly buddhistic land formerly known as Burma. Buthidaung' s Htun Naing, a policeman in Buthidaung, where the town is situated, said he'had never seen such crowd cemeteries.
" Burma has blocked entry to Gu Dar Pyin, so it is not clear how many lives were lost, but digital Globe's AP received sat imagery, along with videos of houses that have been scaled down to ashes, show a wipe-out town. Church directors in the fugitive camp have put together a register of 75 deaths, and locals have estimated the number of deaths at 400, on the basis of testimonies from family members and the corpses they have seen in the tombs and scattered across the area.
Many of the victims have shot wound scarring, among them a 3-year-old kid and his grandma. Nearly every AP respondent saw three large crowd tombs at the north entry of Gu Dar Pyin, near the highway, where testimonies say that troops drove and murdered most of the Rohingya.
Handfuls of eyewitnesses confirm two more large tombs near a graveyard on a slope, not far from a military college where more than 100 troops were deployed after the cull. The inhabitants also saw other, smaller tombs spread over the town. Cemeteries got by the AP in video dated to 13 days upon the kill began, blue-green pools of sour mud enclose bodies without heads and torso protruding into the sky.
Overwriters said the troops had meticulously scheduled the August 27 assault and then intentionally tried to conceal what they had done. Not only did they come with guns, knifes, missile launcher and shells, but also with digging scoops for holes and acids to burnt faces and arms so that the corpses could not be located.
A fortnight before the assault, villagers say, troops were seen purchasing 12 large tanks of acids at a near-by town' s cafe. Assassination began around midday, when more than 200 troops from a southern Tibetan community invaded Gu Dar Pyin and fired their weapon. Rohingya, who could move quickly enough, ran northwards or to a stream in the west, said Mohammad Sha, 37, a shopkeeper and landowner.
He hid in a palm tree forest near the stream with more than 100 others and observed the troops searching Moslem houses. Then, the troops burnt down the houses and shot anyone who could not escape, Sha said. Simultaneously, another group of northern troops joined in, surrounding Gu Dar Pyin and holding the village people in a tightloop.
He saw three lorries stop at one point and load corpses before moving towards the graveyard. Buddhists then went through Gu Dar Pyin in a kind of clean-up by cutting the throat of the wounded with knifes, said the survivors, and worked with troops to cast small kids and the aged into the fire.
"They cried, cried and begged for their life, but the troops just kept shooting," said Mohammad Rayes, 23, a teacher who was climbing a pole and watching. He then observed for 16 hrs how troops, cops and Buddhist neighbours murdered Rohingya without weapons and burnt down the town. "And I thought I was gone.
" In the morning three youngsters from another town crawl towards the viaduct to see what had been happening, Kadir heared moans and were there. Rohingya from the Gu Dar Pyin area spent a few long hours stealing and saving those who had been abandoned by the warriors. Over 20 babies and young children were killed due to a shortage of nutrition and drinking mineral resources, the inhabitants of the villages said.
The next group of remnants observed from a far hill the night after the shootings began as Gu Dar Pyin was burning and the fire and fumes flashed into a dark skies. After six of the massacres, Kadir took his own risk to avoid the dozen Myanmar troops who occupied the village college to look for his four brothers.
That' s when he found his team-mates half toast in the crowd-pit. Over the next few nights and week, other village people defied the soldier to try to find what was remaining of their beloved ones. Tens of corpses polluted the roads and facilities of the destroyed houses; they were filling cesspools. Soon, the livestock found out that larger, dark blue paddy fields in the paddy fields were the places where the deaths were.
When the sometimes thin layers of debris on the tombs turned to sludge in the rain of the monsoons, more inflated objects began to ascend to the top. "So many corpses in so many different places," said Mohammad Lalmia, 20, a peasant whose whole household possessed a lake that became the biggest of the crowd cemeteries.
" 11 and a half day after the assault, Lalmia went to see if the troops had killed the Koran in the fire. Swiftly walking along the edges of the forest to the temple where he found ripped pages from the Moslem holy script. When he tried to tidy up, someone called out that the troops were to come.
Through an open doorway, he looked back at about 15 troops on patrol. There were about 10 corpses on the tomb of Lalmia. His cane vanished into the loosely packed ground, making him believe that the tomb was sufficiently low to contain at least 10 more corpses. "It was shocking that I had so many corpses around that I didn't know about," Lalmia said.
And he and other locals also saw another large tomb in the area. It is estimated that about 80 corpses were thrown into his family's lake and about 20 into each of the other four large mines. Said that about 150 other corpses were abandoned where they dropped. Three of the large tombs were in the northern part of the town.
Five foot long, the village people said. There were many other smaller tombs with three, five, seven, ten corpses strewn over Gu Dar Pyin. On a brief stroll Abdul Noor, an 85-year-old peasant, saw three corpses crammed into a pit and buried in mud. "But the smell was overpowering and the troops were still at school," he said.
Other two men said they saw another dead body full and thin sheet of earth. You said it had between five and ten dead men on top, and thought there were at least five more underneath. In his opinion, the burials without fur and skins were burnt with acids, and he saw several dozen decaying dead men in the paddy field.
On the next morning, September 9th, the village resident Mohammad Karim, 26, took three video clips of crowd tombs time-stamped between 10:12am and 10:14am when he said that he had been evicted by war. As he escaped to Bangladesh, Karim took the storage media from his cell phones, wrapping it in a piece of plastics and tying it to his thighs in order to conceal it from Myanmar's MYPD.
AP saw several other video's that seemed to show tombs in the town, but only Karim's included the initial timestamps. Some of the Myanmar residents said Myanmar troops took their telephones and storage media, sometimes with knives and weapons, to the check points they had to cross on their way to Bangladesh.
A few who survived never found the corpses of their beloved. It was Khatu's determination to find her man, although the risk of female capture by the troops was not only mortality but also the risk of being raped. People in the village said that their man was killed after he had remained at home to shelter their 10 heifers, five hens and eight pigeons along with their supplies of rices.
So, 15 and a half day after the massacres in the tombs at the north entry of Gu Dar Pyin, she looked for him and tried to ID him by the lung and the blanket. Just 10 mins before someone yelled that about 20 troops were going to come. "Everywhere were corpses, bone and parts of my own corpse, all rotten, so I couldn't tell who my man was," Khatu said.