Myanmar army: Charges of abusing Rohingya unsubstantiated

Myanmar's military, under international pressure over alleged abuse against members of the Muslim Rohingya minority, has said official investigations failed to substantiate most allegations.

Military spokesman Maj. Gen. Myat Tun Oo at a news conference Tuesday said the increasing population of Rohingya in Rakhine state in western Myanmar, along with an increase in the number of religious leaders and mosques, disproved general charges of genocide and religious persecution.

He said official investigations failed to find convincing evidence that widespread rape or other atrocities directed against civilians had taken place, but allegations that the army burned down thousands of homes were still under investigation.

The government has barred independent media access to the Rohingya area of Rakhine since an army crackdown began in October after insurgents killed nine police border guards.