Myanmar's admission that soldiers were involved in the murder of 10 Muslims in September was an important step and the United States hoped it would be followed by more transparency and accountability, the USA ambassador said yesterday.
According to multiple news outlets, one of the country's military commanders said on Facebook several members of his force and some villagers were involved in the killings of 10 Rohingya people.
"This grisly admission is a sharp departure from the army's policy of blanket denial of any wrongdoing".
Until Wednesday, Myanmar army has vigorously denied any abuses, instead locking down access to Rakhine state and accusing critics - including the United Nations - of pro-Rohingya bias and spreading "fake news".
The military claimed that they had rushed to Inn Din to protect frightened Buddhist villagers and had been attacked by "200 Bengalis" with sticks and swords, ten of whom were arrested and accused of having links to terrorists.
Myanmar's government does not recognise the term "Rohingya", and insists that the minority are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
Ten of the assailants were captured, but "it was found that there were no conditions to transfer the 10 Bengali terrorists to the police station and so it was chose to kill them", the military said, and vowed to take action against those involved in the killing.
"It is appalling that soldiers have attempted to justify extrajudicial executions by saying they were needed as reinforcements elsewhere and did not know what to do with the men", Gomez said. "Such behaviour shows a contempt for human life which is simply beyond comprehension", he said.
The pair have widely covered the military campaign in Rakhine although Reuters has declined to comment on whether they were specifically reporting on the mass grave in Inn Din.
Last month Doctors Without Borders said at least 6,700 Rohingya were killed in the first month of the army crackdown on rebels in Rakhine - the highest estimated death toll yet of violence that erupted on August 25.
Ro Nay San Lwin, a Rohingya activist, said he did not believe the army's account of the incident. "But this is false", he said.
"All 12 of the outpatient therapeutic treatment centres run by our partners are closed because they were either looted, destroyed or staff can't access them", she said.
"This is quite a striking acknowledgement by Myanmar's military of wrongdoing", said political analyst Richard Horsey.
The pair - Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo - were taken into custody after being invited to dine with police officers on the outskirts of Myanmar's largest city, Yangon.
"Massacres and mass graves have been a reality in all three townships in the north", he told dpa by email, referring to the areas of Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung where the minority Muslim population lived.