At least 354 Rohingya villages have been partially or totally destroyed in Myanmar's Rakhine State since Aug. 25, a global rights agency said Sunday.
According to a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), in 40 villages buildings were destroyed in October and November, increasing the total to 354 villages that have been partially or completely destroyed since Aug. 25. "During this period, thousands more Rohingya refugees fled Burma [Myanmar] and arrived in Bangladesh," it added.
During the crackdown, security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women, and children, looted homes, and torched Rohingya villages, according to refugee accounts.
Since late August, the Myanmar military has committed widespread killings, rapes, arbitrary arrests and mass arson in hundreds of predominantly Rohingya villages, forcing more than 655,000 Rohingya to flee to neighboring Bangladesh, the HRW said.
"Satellite imagery confirms that dozens of buildings were burned the same week Burma and Bangladesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Nov. 23 to begin returning refugees in Bangladesh within two months," the report said. Brad Adams, Asia director at HRW, termed Myanmar's refugee repatriation agreement with Bangladesh "just a public relations stunt."