Violent clashes between local militants and Security Forces in the Rakhine State in western Myanmar has left more than 70 people dead, reported the Telegraph.

According to a statement issued by the office of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto head of the state for Myanmar, the casualties include 12 members of the security forces and at least 59 Rohingya insurgents. This conflict is the latest in a series of clashes in the region that has seen a steady upsurge of violence in recent months.

The Myanmar armed forces claim that the militants used explosives, small arms and knives to plan a number of coordinated attacks on police vehicles and military outposts in the early parts of the morning around Maungdaw and Buthidaung, near the Bangladeshi border.

The troubled Rakhine State harbours more than one million Rohingya people - a predominantly Muslim minority group who are known to have faced oppression in Myanmar. The Rohingya Muslims are largely confined to camps and are often denied full citizenship rights.

The final report

Kofi Annan, who heads the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, released its 'Final Report' on the crisis in the region, calling for urgent action to improve the quality of life, social welfare and citizenship status of the Rohingya people.

Annan, a former secretary general of the United Nations, said that he was "gravely concerned by, and strongly condemn, the recent attacks in Rakhine State." he also believes that failure to act quickly will risk further radicalisation and violence.

"The alleged scale and gravity of these attacks mark a worrying escalation of violence," he added. "Unless concerted action - led by the government and aided by all sectors of the government and society - is taken soon, we risk the return of another cycle of violence and radicalisation, which will further deepen the chronic poverty that afflicts Rakhine State."

Insurgent group claims responsibility

Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, a Rohingyan insurgent group, has claimed responsibility for the attacks as vengeance for the recent raids by the Myanmar security forces.

The Myanmar security forces have been alleged to have committed crimes against humanity such as ethnic cleansing. But Ms. Suu Kyi has categorically denied those allegations.

The United Nations released a report back in February claiming that the raid on Rohingya camps has led to the killings of thousands of civilians, gang rapes and mass displacements of population.

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