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>> The Myanmar military says this grainy photo shows Buddhists in Myanmar brutally murdered by Rohingya attackers in Rakhine state. However a Reuters examination has shown that this picture was actually taken in Bangladesh in 1971 during the war for independence with Pakistan. It's appeared in a book that's said to tell the history of the Rohingya in Myanmar.
The book was published in July by the Myanmar Army's department of PR and psychological warfare. They call themselves the, quote, True News Unit. The photo is one of three images in the book that a Reuter's review found have been misrepresented as archival pictures taken in the Western state of Rakhine.
Myanmar officials could not be reached for comment on the authenticity of the images. The revelation comes days after UN report said Myanmar's army carried out rapes and mass killings of Rohingya a year ago with, quote, genocidal intent. Myanmar rejected those claims, saying the report was making quote, false allegations.
Reuters' Poppy McPherson reviewed the military's book.>> So the book is presenting really Myanmar military's version of events of what happened in Rakhine State last year. It's version of events is that terrorists attacked police posts, and that soldiers responded in a proportionate manner. And that there was no rape and there was no genocide or ethnic cleansing.
And that the international community is making up stories and the testimony of refugees is not reliable. So what we found when we were looking for the book was that some of the photographs that were presented as historic images from Myanmar. Were actually images that were from recent conflicts and changed to black and white and made to look grainy, so that they would look as if they were old photos.
>> Reuters examine some of the photos with google reverse image search and other tools, and checked with the original publishers to establish the origin of the images. According to the book, this photo shows the Rohingya entering the country during the 1940s. But Reuters found that the photo was taken in 1996 of refugees fleeing the Rwandan genocide.
Myanmar's army referred to the Rohingya as Bengalis. It's a term many Burmese use to refer to the Rohingya. The edited pictures help support the books claim that the Rohingya came from outside of Myanmar. In the book, the military also denies allegations of abuse against the Rohingya. It blames recent unrest on quote Bengali terrorists who wanted to curve out their own State.
The quote True News unit, has also been sharing the army story of the crisis on Facebook. But on Monday, Facebook banned some Myanmar military officials from its platform. Accusing them of quote, inflaming ethnic and religious tensions.