Thousands more Rohingya flee to border as Myanmar violence flares

Thousands more Rohingya flee to border as Myanmar violence flares

Thousands more Rohingya flee to border as Myanmar violence flares

Bangladesh is already home to an estimated 400,000 Rohingya, a mainly Muslim stateless minority that rights groups say has long faced persecution in Myanmar.

Rakhine, the poorest region in Myanmar (also called Burma), is home to more than a million Rohingya.

A series of coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents on security forces in the north of Myanmar's Rakhine state on Friday and ensuing clashes triggered the Rohingya exodus, while the government evacuated thousands of Rakhine Buddhists.

According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Bangladeshi authorities to "open your doors", adding that the country would cover the costs associated with letting in more Rohingya.

"Now we are training them in our camp", said the young fighter clad in tracksuit bottoms, a polo shirt and sandals.

Tragically, at least 26 people have so far drowned in an attempt to flee the violence. The bodies of nine more children and eight women lie alongside.

The Bangladesh president underscored the need for ensuring the protection of general people of Myanmar from the violence and immediate implementation of the recommendations of the Kofi Anan Commission.

The crisis erupted after Rohingya rebels attacked 30 police stations last Friday, triggering a military response.

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Aid workers giving emergency shelter and food in Bangladesh said the refugees were in a "very desperate condition".

India is being criticised by national and worldwide human rights groups over its move to turn away the Rohingya refugees.

Between 300,000 and 500,000 Rohingyas live in Bangladesh but only about 32,000 of them have refugee status and live in camps in the Cox's Bazar district.

"We should not be targeted just because we are Muslims", Rohingya Ali Johar, who came to India in 2012 and lives with his family in a Delhi settlement, said to Reuters by phone.

A 23-year-old Rohingya woman from Kyet Yoe Pyin said she had witnessed soldiers and Buddhist mobs rape and kill Muslims in her village over the weekend.

Lee decried the failure of authorities in Myanmar to help Rohingya Muslims evacuate to safer locations.

Much of the state's willingness to commit violence comes from its outright refusal to recognize the Rohingya as citizens of the Burmese state, a refusal that is enshrined in the 1982 Citizenship Law that does not extend citizenship to the Rohingya despite their deep roots in the country.

"370 bodies of terrorists were found", said a statement posted on its Facebook page, alluding to Rohingya militants, while 15 security forces and 14 civilians have also died in eight days of fighting. New Delhi also made it clear that its security forces carried out operations in 2015 "along the border" with Myanmar thereby seeking to avoid any controversy in the wake of reports at the time that the surgical strike by the Indian Army had been carried out against terrorists in Myanmar that year.

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