Based on dozens of interviews with members of the Rohingya community living in shambles on the border of Bangladesh and Myanmar, along with proof of time-stamped cellphone videos, the Associated Press has confirmed the existence of at least five previously unreported mass graves in Myanmar's Rakhine state.
"Reporting shows a systematic slaughter of Rohingya Muslim civilians by the military, with help from Buddhist neighbors — and suggests many more graves hold many more people," the Associated Press confirmed.
Kadir, a 24-year-old firewood collector, along with 14 others who live in the Myanmar village of Gu Dar Pyin, also testified to witnessing "corpses."
"It was a mixed-up jumble of corpses piled on top of each other," said Kadir. "I felt such sorrow for them."
The cellphone videos recorded by the survivors show "blue-green puddles of acid sludge (surrounding) corpses without heads and torsos that jut out from the earth, skeletal hands seeming to claw at the ground."
Phil Robertson, the deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, told NPR it was time to "get serious" and that the Associated Press' report "raises the stakes for the international community to demand accountability from Myanmar."
"The AP's report that Tatmadaw soldiers brought along to Gu Dyar Pin village containers of acid to disfigure the bodies and make identification more difficult is particularly damning because it shows a degree of pre-planning of these atrocities," Robertson said.
Matthew Smith, a founder of Fortify Rights, a non-profit that works on issues of labor migration and human trafficking, told NPR that his group has been uncovering mass graves in the region since 2016. His group, however, found the military "cutting bodies up" and "burning piles of bodies."
About 688,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since August, according to the Institute of Migration.
In December, a Human Rights Watch report stated that Myanmar has continued to burn villages in Rakhine state since August. So far, nearly 40 villages have been burned.
"Analysis of satellite imagery reveals new destruction of Rohingya villages during October and November 2017 in northern Rakhine State in Burma," the advocacy group's report said.
Another report released the same month by Doctors Without Borders claimed that at least 730 Rohingya children under the age of five have been mercilessly slaughtered by Myanmar police forces in the almost six-month crusade against the Muslim community.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein also described the situation in Rakhine as a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing," adding that Aung San Suu Kyi and the head of Myanmar's armed forces, Gen. Aung Min Hlaing, could be guilty of genocide.