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The Latest: Fires still burning Rohingya villages in Myanmar
BANGKOK (AP) -- The Latest on Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh (all times local):
Amnesty International says that videos taken as recently as Friday afternoon show smoke rising from Rohingya Muslim villages in Myanmar's Rakhine state.
Amnesty says its sources in Rakhine claim the fires were set by the Myanmar security forces and vigilante mobs. The group's statement said the video and related satellite images was "damning evidence" that contradicts Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi's assertions that the military's so-called "clearance operations" ended on Sept. 5.
The group called on the international community to take action to halt what it called an ethnic cleansing campaign.
The International Campaign to Ban Landmines, a co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, has condemned Myanmar's use of antipersonnel mines along its border with Bangladesh, across which more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state in the past month.
The group demanded in a statement Friday that Myanmar immediately stop using such weapons and accede to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, to which 162 other nations are parties.
ICBL said eyewitness accounts, photographic evidence and multiple reports showed antipersonnel mines have been laid near Myanmar's two major land crossings with Bangladesh, resulting in casualties among Rohingya fleeing government attacks on their homes.
It said Myanmar security forces have been laying mines in many areas for the past 20 years.
The top U.S. diplomat for Southeast Asia says America remains deeply troubled by the ongoing crisis in Myanmar's Rakhine state and allegations of human rights abuses there.
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Southeast Asia Patrick Murphy said Friday that the response from Myanmar's security forces to attacks by Muslim Rohingya militants in late August was "disproportionate." He called on security forces to end the violence, protect civilians and work with the civilian government to implement the recommendations of a committee headed by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
He said the U.S. has warned Myanmar about potential repercussions if it doesn't address the crisis, including threats to the stability of its borders, the risk of attracting international terrorists, scaring off investment, and ultimately stunting its transition to democracy.