A Burmese government delegation will visit Myanmar's western Rakhine State on Tuesday as fears of sectarian violence grow in the wake of coordinated attacks on police posts close near the Bangladeshi border, according to Ministry of Information.
The delegation will focus on the border district of Maungdaw district, where around 90 armed individuals attacked three police posts early Sunday, claiming 17 lives - nine police personnel and eight attackers - besides wounding nine other officers.
Myanmar Information Minister U Pe Myint will head the official team heading to Maungdaw to instruct local residents to maintain peace and stability, according to the Ministry of Information's newspaper The Global New Light of Myanmar.
Authorities earlier described the attackers as terrorists, but did not confirm what ethnic group they belonged to.
The Rohingya Muslim minority in Rakhine State has suffered persecution and marginalization at the hands of authorities for decades, and some 140,000 people have been displaced from their homes since October 2012.
Security in the region has been beefed up with the deployment of the military, which Monday killed four suspects alleged to have laid an ambush.
But residents of a Rohingya neighborhood in Maungdaw have said the people were killed during a joint door-to-door search by the army and the police in their hunt for hidden weapons, as cited by Radio Free Asia.
Rakhine is home to over one million Rohingyas, a minority that has been living in Myanmar for centuries but whose members are considered Bangladeshi immigrants and have no citizenship rights.
Since the outbreak of sectarian violence between Rohingyas and Buddhists in 2012, when at least 160 people died, thousands of Rohingyas remain confined to 67 camps.
The issue of Rohingyas is a sensitive matter in Myanmar politics, particularly after radical Buddhist groups led the previous quasi-military run government to adopt several discriminatory measures against the community.
In August, the government under the wing of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, launched a commission headed by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, to prepare a report with recommendations for resolving the sectarian conflict. EFE