Washington, Al Qaeda has called on Islamists to rise up and “punish” Buddhist Myanmar for its deadly security crackdown against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority, US-based terrorist tracking group SITE Intelligence reported on Wednesday.
“The savage treatment meted out to our Muslim brothers … shall not pass without punishment,” the jihadist terror network said in a statement, according to SITE.
“The government of Myanmar shall be made to taste what our Muslim brothers have tasted,” added Al Qaeda, which was behind the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US.
Al-Qaeda’s statement urged Muslims around the world to support their fellow Muslims in Myanmar with aid, weapons and “military support”.
Some 370,000 Rohingyas have over the past three weeks fled to neighbouring Bangladesh amid what Myanmar’s authorities describe as a clearing operation by security forces after a series of Rohingya militant attacks on police and army posts killed 12 people in the country’s western Rakhine state on August 25.
Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali on Sunday accused the Myanmar government of committing genocide against the Rohingya, who it does not recognise as an ethnic group.
Ali told diplomats that unofficials sources had put the Rohingya death-toll from the latest unrest in Rakhine at around 3,000, amid reports of the burning of Rohingya villages and extrajudicial killings by Myanmar’s security forces and Buddhist mobs.
About 10,000 Rohingya homes had been torched in Rakhine, according to Ali, a figure that cannot be precisely verified as Myanmar has restricted independent access to the state.
The United Nations on Monday called Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya a “textbook example” of ethnic cleansing and Nobel Peace laureate, the Dalai Lama last weekend told Myanmar’s security forces and Buddhist nationalists to “remember Buddha”.