The office of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing confirmed Wednesday that security forces took part in killing "Bengali terrorists" on September 2 in the village of Inn Din in Maungdaw, using a pejorative term for Rohingya.
"It was found that there were no conditions to transfer the 10 Bengali terrorists to the police station and so it was made a decision to kill them", the military said, referring to the findings of the investigating team.
Because of the troops' order to maintain stability in areas where terrorist attacks have continued, security forces chose to kill them with the assistance of about 10 villagers including U Maung Ni's sons, said the Tatmadaw statement.
The exact number of the returnees is still unknown. The army, which is not under the control of the civilian government, launched a sweeping counteroffensive in northern Rakhine in response to Rohingya militant attacks on 25 August, triggering an exodus of more than 650,000 Rohingya villagers to Bangladesh.
Many refugees start at transit centres set up along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border before they are brought to the main refugee camps in Cox's Bazar.
The European Union and representatives of Muslim nations renewed calls for a broader global investigation into violence in the western state of Rakhine, after the military said on Wednesday its soldiers had killed 10 captured Rohingya Muslim "terrorists" at the beginning of September.
Myanmar insists that the Rohingya minority are illegal migrants from Bangladesh, hence the references to "Bengalis" in official statements.
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"Action will be taken against the villagers ... and the security force members who violated the rules of engagement according to the law", the statement said.
The villagers assisted in the execution, according to the statement, because they wanted revenge on the Rohingya militants who had killed their family members in the past.
The military denied all accusations of significant human rights abuses in a report released in November following an investigation.
"This grisly admission is a sharp departure from the army's policy of blanket denial of any wrongdoing", said James Gomez, Amnesty's regional director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, following the military's announcement.
The government of Buddhist-majority Myanmar has refused to accept Rohingya Muslims as a minority group, even though they have lived in the country for generations.
The U.N. and other groups accuse the military of widespread atrocities against Rohingya, including killings, rapes and the burning of homes.
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