At least 22 people have been killed in what is believed to be a massacre at a Buddhist monastery in northern Myanmar. The attack occurred early on Monday in the town of Maungdaw, near the border with Bangladesh, according to officials from the country’s Rakhine state.
The victims included eight monks and 14 lay people, and the motive remains unknown. Reports suggest that the attackers, believed to be Rohingya Muslim militants, were armed with guns and knives. The Rakhine state has been the scene of violence in recent years, as the Muslim Rohingya minority has been targeted by Buddhist nationalists.
The United Nations has previously described the violence as “ethnic cleansing” and called for an investigation into the killings. Myanmar’s government has denied these allegations, claiming that the attack was carried out by “extremists”.
The incident has raised tensions in the region, and comes just days after the United Nations Human Rights Council called for an investigation into the human rights situation in Rakhine state.