"The military's acknowledgment that the security forces were involved in the killing of these 10 individuals is an important step", Ambassador Scot Marciel said in a forum on media freedom with journalism students and reporters in the main city Yangon.
After two attacks in last two years each by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, whom government declared as "terrorist organization", the Tatmadaw conducted clearance operations in the northern Rakhine, which drew criticism from overseas, accusing Myanmar's security forces of committed human rights abuses. According to the statement, there were "no conditions" to hand the ten captured "bengali terrorists" over to the police, so "it was chose to kill them".
The military refers to members of the Rohingya Muslim minority as "Bengalis", a term the Rohingya reject as implying they are illegal migrants from Bangladesh.
The Associated Press report says Kono's visit to Myanmar includes traveling to northern Rakhine, from where more than 650,000 Rohingya fled to neighboring Bangladesh to escape the military's brutal crackdown.
"Action will be taken against the villagers ... and the security force members who violated the rules of engagement according to the law", the statement said.
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Angry ethnic Rakhine Buddhist villagers, who had lost relatives in militant attacks, wanted to kill the captives, and stabbed them after forcing them into a grave on the outskirts of the village. Security forces had to protect Inn Din village because it is surrounded by Muslim villages of which residents threatened the Inn Din villagers, it said.
"Some villagers from Inn Din village and security forces confessed they killed 10 Bengali terrorists", a translation of the Facebook post said, according to Radio Free Asia. The Myanmar government has consistently denied all accusations.
Myanmar's armed forces have for decades been accused by human rights groups and Western governments of abuses in the country's myriad ethnic conflicts, but it has been rare for soldiers to be held accountable.
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Myanmar's civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has no control over the military, but has faced fierce worldwide criticism for failing to do more to protect the Rohingya.
Amnesty International described the statement as "a sharp departure from the army's policy of blanket denial of any wrongdoing".
"However, it is only the tip of the iceberg and warrants serious independent investigation into what other atrocities were committed", he said in a statement.
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