At least three Rohingya Muslim women have been killed and several others severely injured in confrontation with police in Myanmar ' s western Rakhine state, security sources say.
Myanmar's security officials say the victims were shot dead in the volatile Parein village, when police forces were trying to relocate them. Activists and witnesses say the women- one of whom was pregnant - had joined a crowd that resisted moving out of their residence. Residents have noted that the victims had been living there since their original homes were destroyed in a wave of sectarian clashes last year. Some local media outlets said at least four women were shot dead and five other villagers wounded in the Tuesday's confrontation. Last year Rakhine saw a wave of violence against the Muslim community that left more than 200 people dead. International bodies and human rights organizations accuse the government of turning a blind eye to the violence. Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar account for about five percent of the country’s population of nearly 60 million. They have been persecuted and faced torture, neglect, and repression since the country's independence in 1948. Myanmar’s government has been repeatedly criticized for failing to protect the Rohingya Muslims.