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Rohingya die after boat carrying them capsizes in Bangladesh

02 September 2017

The violence has driven many Rohingya to seek shelter in Bangladesh. A military source, however, blamed what he described as insurgents for torching the buildings. Advocates for the Rohingya, an oppressed Muslim minority in overwhelmingly Buddhist Myanmar, say hundreds of Rohingya civilians have been killed by security forces. But Rohingya allege that security forces are indulging in arson and killings to force them to flee. PM Modi will hold talks with the top leadership in Myanmar including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. In repeated statements, her office has sought to downplay both the extent of the abuses facing the persecuted minority and accused aid groups and worldwide organisations of exaggerating the scale of the crisis.

Top photo: Myanmar's Rohingya ethnic minority members flee their homes through rice fields after crossing over to the Bangladesh side of the border near Cox's Bazar's Teknaf area, September 1, 2017.

To escape the violence, about 20,000 Rohingya have massed along the Bangladeshi frontier, barred from entering the South Asian country, while scores of desperate people have drowned attempting to cross the Naf, a border river, in makeshift boats.

At least 109 people have been killed in the clashes with insurgents, according to the government, a lot of them militants but also members of the security forces and civilians. From the time of the UPA government, when the Myanmar junta was cooperating with India on flushing out safe havens for Northeast militants, New Delhi has always felt it "unwise" to make any statements that would be perceived in Myanmar as "pro-Rohingya".

The group is steered by Rohingya living in Saudi Arabia, and commanded in the field by experienced guerilla fighters, a report by the International Crisis Group states.

The crackdown by Myanmar forces also sparked a mass evacuation of thousands of Buddhist residents of the area.

"Good relations between Myanmar and Bangladesh will contribute greatly to solve the situation in the Rakhine State", Retno said. Rakhine Buddhists, feeling unsafe after the upsurge in fighting, are moving south to the state's capital, Sittwe, where Buddhists are a majority and have greater security.

The rag-tag unit has a real fight on its hands against Myanmar's well-equipped army, which has been offered military assistance from Bangladesh to root out rebels near the border.

Rohingya Muslims are neither accepted by Myanmar nor its neighbor Bangladesh, and live in in constant fear following the Indian government's plan to deport 40,000 Rohingya refugees.

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"The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the reports of excesses during the security operations conducted by Myanmar's security forces in Rakhine State", the statement said.

In the wake of the report, Aung San Suu Kyi has accused global aid workers of helping "terrorists" in the region.

"Many children have been killed", he told BuzzFeed News from Geneva, "many women, many elderly".

The Rohingya are reviled in Myanmar, where the roughly one million-strong community are accused of being illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees called on Bangladesh to open its borders to the Rohingyas to enable a humanitarian corridor.

Omar said 64 young Rohingya men had enlisted in his unit over a two-day period, walking from squalid camps in Bangladesh to join the fight. She warned the number was likely to be revised upward.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud considered Bhushan's submissions that the plea required urgent hearing in view of the decision of the government to send Rohingyas back to their native land, reported PTI.

Bangladeshi border guards have tried to keep them out, but usually relent when pressured, and thousands could be seen Friday making their way across muddy rice fields.

It has also sought a direction that Rohingyas be provided "basic amenities to ensure that they can live in human conditions as required by global law". They have often met grisly fates at the hands of human traffickers and even the coastguards of other nations.

Rohingya die after boat carrying them capsizes in Bangladesh