EU, CANADA sanction Myanmar generals over Rohingya; Myanmar says two are fired.

The European union and Canada imposed sanctions on seven military officials from Myanmar on Monday, including the general in charge of operation accused of driving more than 700,000  Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh.

Within hours of the EU announcement, Myanmar military announced that one of the sanctioned generals had been fired on Monday and another had left the army last month after being removed from his post.

The seven face asset freeze and are banned from travelling to the EU, after the bloc extended an arms embargo and prohibited any training of, or cooperation with, Myanmar armed forces.

The EU sanctions, first reported by Reuters in April, also mark a shift in diplomacy by the European bloc, which suspended its restrictive measures on Myanmar in 2012 to support its partial shift to democratic governance in recent years.

The crackdown on the Rohingya in the northwestern  Rakhine State, which the United Nations denounced as ''ethnic cleansing'' by the military, has soured relations.

Myanmar rejects almost all accusations of wrongdoing and says it launched a legitimate counter-insurgency operation after coming under attack by Rohingya militants last August.

One of the officers sanctioned by the EU, Major General Mauing Maung Soe, had already been sanctioned by  United states last December.

He was transferred late last year from his post as as the head of  Western command in Rakhine, where Myanmar's military launched its ferocious counter offensive.

''He is responsible for atrocities and serious human rights violations committed against [the] Rohingya population in Rakhine State by the Western Command during the period ,'' the EU said in a statement. [Agencies]


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