The damage shown in the satellite imagery is concentrated in two areas near the center of town, immediately north and east of Maungdaw prison, which are primarily inhabited by Rohingya Muslims. Expert analysis shows that damage signatures are consistent with fire.

Satellites initially detected active fires in the late morning and early afternoon of August 28 in these areas of the town. Reports from the State Counsellor’s information office reported clashes in the area where fires were detected on August 27 and 29, alleging that in both instances Rohingya militants burned homes of Rohingya and Hindu residents, but providing no evidence to back those claims.

“The Burmese government needs to grant access to independent monitors to determine the sources of fires and assess allegations of serious human rights violations relayed by Rohingya refugees who have fled to Bangladesh,” Robertson said. “Government and military authorities have repeatedly made claims without evidence, showing the urgency of allowing journalists and monitors on the ground to find out what’s really going on.” (