Myanmar's deadly border post attacker sentenced to death

Myanmar border guard police carry the coffin of a comrade, who was killed in an attack on a police outpost. (Representative image) Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Yangon, Yangon Region, Myanmar (Burma) Feb 13, 2017, 12.57 PM (IST)

A Rohingya man, believed to have led the deadly border post attacks last year, has been slapped with a death sentence by a Myanmar court.

The coordinated attacks on three border posts on October 9, which killed nine policemen, prompted the Myanmar government to launch a brutal crackdown on Rohingya Muslims.

"He was sentenced to death on 10 February at Sittwe court for intentional murder," Sittwe police chief Yan Naing Lett, though he didn't give a date for the execution.

"He participated in the attacks and led them, and planned them with others. He is one of 14 attackers who was detained in Sittwe township," the officer said, naming the man as Mamahdnu Aka Aula.

The other 13 accused were also brought before the court but their sentencing has not been announced yet, the officer added. 

The attacks on police patrolling Myanmar's border with Bangladesh sparked off the government's deadly campaign against the Rohingyas.

Hundreds from the Muslim minority are thought to have died and tens of thousands have fled to Bangladesh since the army launched "clearance operations" four months ago to find the attackers.

Several hundred Rohingya have also been detained, the UN report said, describing how they were stripped, beaten, tortured and deprived of food and water.

Myanmar's government has pledged to investigate the allegations after spending months dismissing similar reports from international media and rights groups as "fake news".

The 1.1 million Rohingya are loathed by many from the Buddhist majority, who insist they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh even though many have lived in the country for generations.

The recent violence has sparked criticism that Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has done little to help them since taking office almost a year ago. 

(WION with inputs from AFP)