Two women were killed and seven other people were wounded when shells hit a Rohingya village in Myanmar’s Rakhine state on January 25.
The army rejected accusations from a local lawmaker, a villager and the Arakan Army (AA), a rebel group, that the Myanmar military was responsible for the shelling at Kin Taung.
Maung Kyaw Zan, a member of the national parliament for Buthidaung township in northern Rakhine state, said shells fired from a nearby battalion hit Kin Taung village in the middle of Saturday night.
“There was no fighting, they just shot artillery to a village without a battle,” he told Reuters by phone, adding it was the second time this year that civilians had been killed.
Soe Tun Oo, a Rohingya villager living a mile from the village, told Reuters by phone that two houses were destroyed.
A military statement confirmed the deaths, but blamed the AA, a Rakhine ethnic rebel group which has been fighting for greater autonomy in the state for more than a year. Two military spokesmen did not answer calls seeking comment.
“AA terrorists committed firing at Bengali villages with the use of heavy weapons and planting mines,” the statement said.
The Arakan Army said in a statement on its website that there was “ample evidence” that the army committed the killings without giving specific details. It accused Myanmar’s forces of “deliberate, false and misleading lies” aimed at discrediting the group.
Reuters was unable to independently confirm the details of the incident.
At a press conference on Monday, the army objected to the story about the deaths, saying the account was biased.
The Hague-based International Court of Justice ordered Myanmar on January 23 to protect the Rohingya against further atrocities and preserve evidence of alleged crimes, after west African nation the Gambia launched a lawsuit in November accusing the country of genocide.
Myanmar has re-imposed an internet shutdown in two conflict-torn western states, after partially lifting the blackout five months ago, a leading telecoms operator said late on Monday.
Norwegian mobile operator Telenor Group said in a statement the transport and communications ministry had ordered for mobile internet traffic to be stopped again in five townships in Rakhine and Chin states for three months.
A months-long internet blackout in four Rakhine townships - Maungdaw, Buthidaung, Rathedaung, and Myebon - and one in Chin state had been lifted in September amid peace talks seeking to end clashes between government troops and ethnic insurgents.