NAYPYITAW -- A government-appointed committee looking into allegations of atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has concluded the accusations against the country's security forces have no basis, the government has said.
In a report released Sunday, the committee said it had found no evidence of human rights violations or ethnic cleansing.
In October 2016, an armed group attacked a guard post near the Bangladeshi border in the western state of Rakhine, an area inhabited by many Rohingya.
The police responded with a crackdown in nearby villages.
The Rohingya have accused the security forces of indiscriminate murder and rape, as well as burning down their homes.
The United Nations Human Rights Council resolved in March to dispatch a team to the country, but the Myanmar government refused to allow the investigation.
Myanmar's own investigative committee was set up in December to look into the circumstances behind the 2016 incident.
Vice President U Myint Swe, who led the committee, criticized a report released in February by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that claimed there had been organized atrocities committed by the security forces. Myint Swe claimed the report merely exaggerated the number of casualties and property damage associated with the fight against terror groups.
He also said meddling by the international community had aggravated the situation and made a resolution more difficult.
The vice president referred to a large amount of narcotics that was discovered in the area and alleged that armed groups may have been involved in its traffic, emphasizing the security forces' actions were justifiable as a way of countering terrorism and crime.
The Rohingya are denied citizenship by the Myanmar government and have been treated as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. They have faced restrictions for many years, including on their movements.