myanmar fake news intvw_00000907.jpg
myanmar fake news intvw_00000907.jpg
PHOTO: Getty Images
Now playing
01:45
Impact of Myanmar misinformation on refugees
PHOTO: USC Shoah Foundation
Now playing
02:33
What these Rohingya refugees want you to know
Rohingya migrant women cry as they sit on a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea on May 14, 2015.  The boat crammed with scores of Rohingya migrants -- including many young children -- was found drifting in Thai waters on May 14, according to an AFP reporter at the scene, with passengers saying several people had died over the last few days.     AFP PHOTO / Christophe ARCHAMBAULT        (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images)
Rohingya migrant women cry as they sit on a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea on May 14, 2015. The boat crammed with scores of Rohingya migrants -- including many young children -- was found drifting in Thai waters on May 14, according to an AFP reporter at the scene, with passengers saying several people had died over the last few days. AFP PHOTO / Christophe ARCHAMBAULT (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
02:30
Who are the Rohingya and why are they fleeing?
myanmar islamophobia ivan watson_00015113.jpg
myanmar islamophobia ivan watson_00015113.jpg
PHOTO: AFP TV
Now playing
03:20
Islamophobia on the rise in Myanmar
Thaw Parka
Thaw Parka
Now playing
01:45
Buddhist group behind anti-Muslim protests
Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi tours the Nobel Peace center in Oslo on June 16, 2012. Suu Kyi on June 16 pledged to keep up her struggle for democracy as she finally delivered her Nobel Peace Prize speech, 21 years after winning the award while under house arrest.    AFP PHOTO / POOL /Cathal McNaughton        (Photo credit should read Cathal McNaughton/AFP/GettyImages)
Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi tours the Nobel Peace center in Oslo on June 16, 2012. Suu Kyi on June 16 pledged to keep up her struggle for democracy as she finally delivered her Nobel Peace Prize speech, 21 years after winning the award while under house arrest. AFP PHOTO / POOL /Cathal McNaughton (Photo credit should read Cathal McNaughton/AFP/GettyImages)
PHOTO: AFP/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
01:41
Who is Aung San Suu Kyi?
Myanmar
Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi delivers a national address in Naypyidaw on September 19, 2017. Aung San Suu Kyi said on September 19 she "feels deeply" for the suffering of "all people" caught up in conflict scorching through Rakhine state, her first comments on a crisis that also mentioned Muslims displaced by violence. / AFP PHOTO / Ye Aung THU (Photo credit should read YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:22
Myanmar's Suu Kyi addresses Rohingya crisis
A Rohingya Muslim man walks to shore carrying an elderly woman after they arrived on a boat from Myanmar to Bangladesh in Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. Nearly three weeks into a mass exodus of Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar, thousands were still flooding across the border Thursday in search of help and safety in teeming refugee settlements in Bangladesh. Those who arrived Wednesday in wooden boats described ongoing violence in Myanmar, where smoke could be seen billowing from a burning village, suggesting more Rohingya homes had been set alight. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
A Rohingya Muslim man walks to shore carrying an elderly woman after they arrived on a boat from Myanmar to Bangladesh in Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. Nearly three weeks into a mass exodus of Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar, thousands were still flooding across the border Thursday in search of help and safety in teeming refugee settlements in Bangladesh. Those who arrived Wednesday in wooden boats described ongoing violence in Myanmar, where smoke could be seen billowing from a burning village, suggesting more Rohingya homes had been set alight. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
PHOTO: Dar Yasin/AP
Now playing
02:43
Rohingya Muslims flee burning villages
Women and children fleeing violence in their villages arrive at the Yathae Taung township in Rakhine State in Myanmar on August 26, 2017.
Terrified civilians tried to flee remote villages in Myanmar
Women and children fleeing violence in their villages arrive at the Yathae Taung township in Rakhine State in Myanmar on August 26, 2017. Terrified civilians tried to flee remote villages in Myanmar's northern Rakhine State for Bangladesh on August 26 afternoon, as clashes which have killed scores continued between suspected Rohingya militants and Myanmar security forces. / AFP PHOTO / Wai Moe (Photo credit should read WAI MOE/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: WAI MOE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
01:35
Thousands of Rohingya flee violence in Myanmar
rohingya injured alex field lklv_00005910.jpg
rohingya injured alex field lklv_00005910.jpg
Now playing
02:02
Children among injured in Rohingya attacks
Rohingya refugees sit by the roadside, awaiting entrance into a refugee camp in Bangladesh.
Rohingya refugees sit by the roadside, awaiting entrance into a refugee camp in Bangladesh.
Now playing
02:39
Rohingya refugees are overwhelming aid groups
rohingya exodus myanmar field pkg_00025004.jpg
rohingya exodus myanmar field pkg_00025004.jpg
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
03:00
Ethnic Rohingyas exodus amid Myanmar violence
(FILES) This file picture dated May 20, 2010 shows exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama meditating during the first of his teaching sessions at Radio City Hall in New York. On November 23, 2010 the Dalai Lama
(FILES) This file picture dated May 20, 2010 shows exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama meditating during the first of his teaching sessions at Radio City Hall in New York. On November 23, 2010 the Dalai Lama's spokesman told AFP his intentions to retire as head of the Tibetan government in exile next year as he looks to scale back his workload and reduce his ceremonial role. The Tibetan movement in exile, based in the northern Indian hill station of Dharamshala since 1960, directly elected a political leader in 2001 for the first time. AFP PHOTO / Stan Honda (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images/file
Now playing
01:10
Dalai Lama: Buddha would have helped Rohingya
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 22:  Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks during a meeting with members of the Myanmar community at the Royal Festival Hall on June 22, 2012 in central London, England. Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is on a four-day visit to the UK during her first trip to Europe since 1988.  (Photo by Suzanne Plunkett - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 22: Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks during a meeting with members of the Myanmar community at the Royal Festival Hall on June 22, 2012 in central London, England. Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is on a four-day visit to the UK during her first trip to Europe since 1988. (Photo by Suzanne Plunkett - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
PHOTO: WPA Pool/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Now playing
00:49
Myanmar leader denies ethnic cleansing
Local residents walk to attend a mass protest in Chechnya
Local residents walk to attend a mass protest in Chechnya's provincial capital Grozny, Russia, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017. Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Russia's predominantly Muslim Chechnya to protest what the Chechen leader called "genocide of Muslims" in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev)
PHOTO: Musa Sadulayev/AP
Now playing
00:49
Thousands in Chechnya rally for Rohingya Muslims
myanmar alan kurdi orig_00012923.jpg
myanmar alan kurdi orig_00012923.jpg
Now playing
01:48
16-month-old dies fleeing Myanmar violence

Story highlights

Military statement said 200 "Bengali terrorists" attacked security forces

10 were arrested and taken to a cemetary where villagers dug a pit and ordered them in

(CNN) —  

Myanmar has said members of its security forces were involved in the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslims found in a mass grave last month in Rakhine State, where the country’s military has been accused of ethnic cleansing.

“Action will be taken against the villagers who participated in the case and the members of security forces who broke the Rules of Engagement under the law,” the Myanmar military said in a statement posted to Facebook.

Before this admission, Myanmar’s military had denied any wrongdoing in the violence that began in late August 2017 and has led to the exodus of more than 650,000 Rohingya from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

In a statement, the military said around 200 “Bengali terrorists” attacked security forces with sticks and near the village of Inn Din, north of the provincial capital Sittwe, on September 1, 2017. The military “shot into the sky to disperse them (and) during that incident they captured 10 Bengali terrorists.”

The 10 men were taken back to the village, where the “decision was made to kill them at the (Peyon) cemetery.”

The statement said the next day security forces escorted villagers as they marched the detained men to the Peyon cemetery in Inn Din village. There, the villagers dug a pit and told the men to enter it. Some villagers entered the pit and attempted to stab or slash the men with swords and knives, after which a scuffle broke out.

“As some attacks coursed among them, four members of security forces near the pit shot them,” the statement said.

A few months earlier, the statement said a local man had been allegedly killed by “Bengali terrorists,” and his sons were among the group who escorted the men to the mass grave.

Authorities in Rakhine state work to uncover a mass grave found in a village north of the provincial capital Sittwe.
Authorities in Rakhine state work to uncover a mass grave found in a village north of the provincial capital Sittwe.
PHOTO: Office of the Tatmadaw Commander in Chief

Both the UN and the United States say the violence that broke out last year and resulted in a massive refugee crisis on the Bangladesh border amounts to ethnic cleansing of the Muslim Rohingya from predominantly Buddhist Myanmar.

The Myanmar government says the bloodshed resulted from a military crackdown on militants who carried out co-ordinated attacks on border posts.

A recent Médecins Sans Frontières report said at least 6,700 Rohingya were killed in attacks during the first month of the crackdown in Rakhine. In November, Myanmar’s military said that 376 “ARSA Bengali terrorists” were killed in fighting between August 25 and September 5, referring to the Rohingya insurgent group.

This week, prosecutors in Myanmar sought charges under the country’s Official Secrets Act – a colonial hangover – against two Reuters reporters, who are now facing up to 14 years in prison.

The reporters had been reporting in Inn Din village, where the mass grave was found, before their arrest, according to Myint Kyaw, a member of the Myanmar Press Council.

’Tip of the iceberg’

The military’s admission of its role in the mass grave “is a sharp departure from the army’s policy of blanket denial of any wrongdoing,” James Gomez, Amnesty International regional director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said in a statement.

“However, it is only the tip of the iceberg and warrants serious independent investigation into what other atrocities were committed amid the ethnic cleansing campaign that has forced out more than 655,000 Rohingya from Rakhine State since last August,” he added.

The Myanmar statement said that security forces were unable to take the arrested men to the police station because of ongoing attacks and damaged vehicles so a “decision was made to kill them at the cemetery.”

Amnesty said the military “showed a contempt for human life which is simply beyond comprehension.”

Amnesty called on the UN to allow a fact-finding mission to uncover the “full extent of the violations.”

Last month, Yanghee Lee, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, was officially banned from the country, after the government complained she was “not impartial and objective.”

Media access to northern Rakhine State has also been tightly controlled, with most organizations denied access except on heavily supervised military tours.