Thousands of Rohingya pour into Bangladesh

Bangladesh border guard commander Lt. Col. S M Ariful Islam said today that the bodies of 15 children and 11 women were recovered from the Naf River at Teknaf in Cox's Bazar.

Four of the deceased might have been shot to death, said the OC quoting witnesses.

The searing violence, some of the deadliest to have hit Myanmar's Rohingya community, has forced tens of thousands to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.

According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), more than 18,000 Rohingya people had fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar's Rakhine state amid a fresh wave of violence in the region since August 25.

It said 20,000 more Rohingya were stuck in a no-man's-land at the border. In mid-August, after an attack attributed to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army killed 10 policemen, the Myanmar Army has launched a new crackdown in Rakhine.

Large numbers of refugees are now stranded near the border after Bangladesh blocked their entry.

Issuing a press statement yesterday, he made a clarion call to the Myanmar government to stop its campaign of assault on Rohingya Muslims. An ethnic minority disdained by the Burmese public and ignored by the Burmese government, the Rohingya do not have full citizenship rights.

Burma is often called Myanmar, a name that military authorities adopted in 1989.

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear on September 4 a plea against deportation of illegal Rohingya Muslim immigrants to Myanmar on several grounds, including violation of worldwide human rights conventions. That set off a surge of anti-Muslim sentiment throughout the country.

New recruits are being trained and armed in the hillsides across the border in Myanmar's Rakhine State, Omar told AFP, where a week of bloody conflict has left at least 110 confirmed dead and driven almost 20,000 civilians into Bangladesh.

It is the first time in Rakhine s bitter and bloody crisis that Hindus have fled - a sign violence is billowing out.

Media access to Rakhine is restricted, but on Wednesday an AFP reporter on a government-led visit to the worst-hit section of the state saw plumes of smoke billowing from several burning villages.

"Survivors and eyewitnesses from Chut Pyin told Fortify Rights that soldiers and armed residents burned every house in the village", the group said in a statement.

Mohammad Omar used to cross the border into Bangladesh to sell cigarettes but these days he has a different agenda - restocking supplies for the fledgling Rohingya militia fighting Myanmar's security forces.

Uddin said 412 Hindus are staying in a Hindu neighborhood near Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar. "It is our bounden duty to provide them with shelter and food".

"All of these are happening in front of eyes of all humankind but unfortunately humankind is insensitive to them", he said.


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