More than 2,600 houses in Rohingya-majority areas of Myanmar's Rakhine state burned, government says
Myanmar officials blame Islamist group for burning homes in northern state
More than 2,600 houses have been burned down in Rohingya-majority areas of Myanmar's northwest in the last week, the government said on Saturday, in one of the deadliest bouts of violence involving the Muslim minority in decades.
About 58,600 Rohingya have fled the violence into Bangladesh from Myanmar, according to UN refugee agency UNHCR, as aid workers there struggle to cope.
Myanmar officials have blamed Islamist group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army for the burning of the homes. The group claimed responsibility for coordinated attacks on security posts last week that prompted clashes and a large army counter-offensive.
But Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh say a campaign of arson and killings by the Myanmar army is aimed at trying to force them out.
The treatment of Buddhist-majority Myanmar's roughly 1.1 million Rohingya is the biggest challenge facing leader Aung San Suu Kyi, accused by Western critics of not speaking out for a minority that has long complained of persecution.