Thai soldiers attend the opening ceremony of the joint military exercise Cobra Gold 2018 at U-tapao Airport in Rayong Province. Thailand, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
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Myanmar's army chief received a royal decoration from Thailand Friday, despite accusations his security forces have carried out ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in northern Rakhine state.Senior General Min Aung Hlaing controls the army and oversaw the "clearance operations" on Rohingya villages, which the United Nations has called ethnic cleansing.The military man was nominated for the award by Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Aug. 21, 2017 -- days before the crackdown -- "for support and service to Thailand's army", according to palace mouthpiece the Royal Gazette. The U.S. embassy in Bangkok did not immediately comment on whether Min Aung Hlaing would visit military exercises held in Thailand this week, where Myanmar's participation as an observer has sparked criticism.
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