Reuters says Myanmar detained its journalists over Rohingya massacre probe


He continued: 'I underlined the urgency of creating the conditions in Rakhine that could make it a safe place for the Rohingya refugees to return to, free from fear, and in the knowledge that their basic rights will be respected and upheld.

But the military's version of events was contradicted by accounts given to Reuters news agency by Rakhine Buddhist and Rohingya Muslim witnesses.

The Reuters investigation of the Inn Din massacre was what prompted the arrest of two of its reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were detained on December 12 past year for allegedly obtaining confidential documents.

It is the first time Reuters has publicly confirmed what Myanmar nationals Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were working on when they were arrested on Dec.12 on the outskirts of Yangon. Two police officers were also arrested, on the same charge of violating a colonial-era law.

Buddhist villagers reported no attack by a large number of insurgents on security forces in Inn Din and Rohingya witnesses said that soldiers plucked the 10 from among hundreds of men, women and children who had sought safety on a nearby beach. Their next hearing is scheduled for February 14.

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However, Myanmar authorities have denied that they are carrying out ethnic cleansing in Rakhine state, speaking instead of a "clearance operation" that is a legitimate response to insurgent attacks.

Judges have denied bail to the two reporters during a pre-trial hearing period, despite calls for their release from human rights groups and diplomats around the globe.

He left for Myanmar in the afternoon and will hold talks with de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to discuss the crisis and press for the end to the suffering in Rakhine and the safe and voluntary return of the refugees.

The Foreign Secretary's trip to Bangladesh - the first such official visit in a decade - comes after almost 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled a military crackdown, which began last August.

A month after the journalists were detained, Myanmar's army issued a rare statement taking responsibility for the deaths but claimed that those killed were "Bengali terrorists", reflecting the regime's official stance that the Rohingya are interlopers from neighboring Bangladesh.