Arrests of Muslims suspected of involvement in the deadly 9 October assault on border police posts in northern Arakan State are continuing, with at least nine men detained over the last week, according to state media.
The Global New Light of Myanmar reported on Tuesday that five men in Maungdaw Township were detained on Sunday and had confessed to their involvement in the attacks last year.
“According to the confessions of those arrested, they took part in armed attacks in Ngakhura and Kyikanpyin villages, giving monetary aid and recruiting new members for a terrorist group,” said the report. “They were arrested while entering their respective villages, it is learnt.”
The state-run daily reported on Friday that three other men had been arrested the day prior in Maungdaw, held for their alleged involvement in the attack on the Kyikanpyin border police post on 9 October, and a separate report this week said one suspected militant was arrested on Saturday in Buthidaung Township.
Security forces have arrested hundreds of suspects since 9 October, when the government says Islamic militants overran three border police outposts, killing nine police officers.
A crackdown in the months since has led about 65,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh, while scores of “violent armed attackers” have been killed by security forces. The government has offered near blanket denials in the face of mounting allegations of grave human rights abuses perpetrated by security personnel.
Growing scrutiny from the international community prompted the government to form an investigative commission to probe the accusations. Its interim report, released on 3 January, said members of the commission did not find evidence supporting the claims. The report, which was criticised as a “whitewash,” said that as of writing, legal action had been taken against 485 suspects in 49 cases linked to the 9 October assault and a subsequent clashes between militants and security personnel on 12 and 13 November.