Satellite images show hundreds of Rohingya homes torched in Rakhine

Rakhine, home to the Muslim Rohingyas, has been under military lockdown ever since surprise raids on border posts left nine police dead last month. Photograph:( AFP )

Yangon, Yangon Region, Myanmar (Burma) Nov 13, 2016, 04.47 AM (IST)

Hundreds of buildings in Rohingya villages in Rakhine have been torched, satellite images showed.

The fresh violence erupted in the restive state of Rakhine in western Myanmar, leaving two soldiers and six attackers dead, according to the military who said they brought in helicopter gunships to repel an ambush.

Ethnic violence has ripped through the state and the situation has turned even grimmer after nine border policemen were killed in coordinated attacks last month.

The attack resulted in the government coming down hard on Rohingya villagers, with dozens of people dead and several more arrested in the security apparatus' pursuit to nab the assailants.

Myanmar government believes those who launched the deadly attacks last month are radicalised Rohingya militants with links to overseas Islamists.

The crisis and reports of grave rights abuses being carried out in tandem with the security crackdown have piled international pressure on Myanmar's new civilian government and raised questions about its ability to control its military.

Authorities have heavily restricted access to the area, making it difficult to independently verify government reports or accusations of army abuse.

New satellite images released by Human Rights Watch show what the group said was evidence of mass arson attacks against Rohingya villages.

Their analysis showed more than 400 buildings torched in three Rohingya villages where the fighting has been taking place.

The group said active fires and burn scars showed that most of the destruction was caused by arson. The latest images were taken on 10 November.

(WION with inputs from AFP)