Children as young as six have been beheaded while some people have been burned alive as violence escalates in Myanmar, according to reports.
Soldiers and armed residents have been accused of carrying out a killing spree against Rohingya Muslim men, women, and children in Chut Pyin village, leaving more than 200 dead.
They have also set fire to “numerous” villages throughout northern Rakhine state in the last week, displacing tens of thousands, according to a human rights group.
The latest violence erupted over a week ago when the rebels attacked remote police posts, killing 15 officials.
The ARSA, who say they are defending the Rohingya from persecution by Myanmar, claimed responsibility for the security post assaults that sparked a large army counter-offensive.
The escalation in fighting has seen around 400 people killed in recent days and more than 2,600 houses have burned down.
About 58,600 Rohingya civilians have left Myanmar, also known as Burma, and fled to neighboring Bangladesh. Some have drowned while trying to make the journey.
In Chut Pyin, villagers armed with swords and knives hacked and beheaded Rohingya residents, including children, it is claimed.
Soldiers reportedly arrested a large group of Rohingya men, marched them into a nearby bamboo hut, and set it on fire, burning them to death.
A 41-year-old man called Abdul Rahman, who claimed he survived the Chut Pyin attack, said some of his relatives had been killed.
He told the Bangkok-based watchdog Fortify Rights: “My brother was killed. [Soldiers] burned him with the group. We found [my other family members] in the fields.
“They had marks on their bodies from bullets and some had cuts. My two nephews, their heads were off. One was six-years old and the other was nine years old. My sister-in-law was shot with a gun.”
New York-based Human Rights Watch said the Myanmar government should allow independent monitors to establish who started the fires, highlighting Chein Khar Li where 700 buildings – 99% of the village – were destroyed.
“New satellite imagery shows the total destruction of a Muslim village and prompts serious concerns that the level of devastation in northern Rakhine state may be far worse than originally thought,” said spokesman Phil Robertson.
The treatment of the 1.1 million Rohingya is the biggest challenge facing leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is accused by Western critics of not speaking out for a minority that has long complained of persecution.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Myanmar of “genocide” against the Rohingya, while UN chief Antonio Guterres has warned of a looming humanitarian catastrophe in western Myanmar.