At least six people have been killed during clashes in the Muslim-majority state of Rakhine in northwest Myanmar, the government and villagers said.
According to witnesses, three men and three women were killed after a gunfire broke out in the village on Thursday morning. Two others are also missing.
Police said terrorists were responsible for the outbreak of violence.
“Security forces are hunting extremist terrorists after the bodies of six villagers from Kaing Gyi were found and two went missing,” the state counselor’s office said.
All the dead, according to Sein Hla, a village leader, were from the Myo ethnic group living in the area and no Muslims were targeted.
Hla said a man and a woman were still missing and that the aggressors used guns and knives to attack the villagers.
The area has been gripped by violence since last year when Rohingya militants raided police posts, following which a months-long bloody military crackdown was launched.
The UN believes the military crackdown may amount to ethnic cleansing. Myanmar’s government denies the allegation, but refuses to allow in a UN fact-finding mission to investigate.
More than 70,000 have fled to the neighboring Bangladesh since the beginning of the brutal crackdown. UN estimates hundreds have been killed since then.