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Myanmar criticises US sanctions on military general

Myanmar’s government has spoken out against sanctions placed on a general accused of leading the ethnic cleasning campaign of the Rohingya in the Rakhine state.

“This targeted sanction is based on unreliable accusations without evidence, as we have repeatedly said, so we feel sad for that,” Zaw Htay, a spokesman for Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, told Reuters.

The general, Maung Maung Soe, "oversaw the military operation in Burma's Rakhine State responsible for widespread human rights abuse against Rohingya civilians," said a US Treasury statement.

US officials also added that it had “examined credible evidence of Maung Maung Soe’s activities, including allegations against Burmese security forces of extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, and arbitrary arrest as well as the widespread burning of villages”.

But Zaw Htay dismissed the reports of human rights abuses as “talking stories”.

“We have told international governments and human rights groups including the UN that the current government is committed to protecting and promoting human rights,” said Zaw Htay.

See more from Reuters here.