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Myanmar: Soldiers, villagers killed Rohingya in mass grave

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A statement from the office of the commander-in-chief on Wednesday said the military's investigation had found that members of the security forces had killed the 10.

In the past, the military has retaliated against Rohingya villages following such attacks.

Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi said on Friday it was "positive" that the country's military was taking responsibility for the actions of troops, after the army said soldiers were involved in killing 10 captured Rohingya Muslims.

The military announced on Dec.18 that a mass grave containing 10 bodies had been found at the coastal village of Inn Din, about 50 km north of the state capital Sittwe.

It said the 10 had been captured after security forces had come under attack from around 200 insurgents.

Fortify Rights, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch described the admission that ethnic Rakhine villagers and security forces killed 10 Royingya Muslims in Inn Dinn village on September 2, 2018 as the "tip of the iceberg", and urged an international investigation.

The captives should have been handed over to the police, in line with procedure, but the militants were attacking "continuously" and had destroyed two military vehicles with explosives, it said.

The military refers to members of the Rohingya Muslim minority as "Bengalis", a term the Rohingya reject as implying they are illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

Myanmar's military hasn't made a public admission of guilt until now.

According to United Nations estimates, more than 655,000 Rohingya Muslims crossed into Bangladesh after the Myanmar army launched a crackdown on suspected Muslim insurgents blamed for carrying out attacks on security posts in restive Rakhine state on August 25. "This incident happened because ethnic Buddhist villagers were threatened and provoked by the terrorists".

It "warrants serious independent investigation into what other atrocities were committed amid the ethnic cleansing campaign that has forced out more than 655,000 Rohingya from Rakhine State since last August", he said on Thursday.

The Rakhine state is home to a majority of Muslims in Myanmar, who have been denied citizenship and long faced persecution in the Buddhist-majority country, especially from the extremists.

James Gomez, Amnesty International's Southeast Asia and Pacific director, said the acknowledgement marked "a sharp departure from the army's policy of blanket denial of any wrongdoing".

Amnesty previously accused the Burmese military of committing "crimes against humanity" after the human rights group documented its targeted campaign of violence, including the mass murder of civilians and the widespread rape of Rohingya women and girls.