Rohingya tell of fleeing Myanmar for lives, United Nations says 3000 left

Bangladesh has said there are thousands more Rohingya massed on its border with Myanmar, where the stateless minority face persecution.

According to official figures, at least 98 people have died, including 80 militants and 12 soldiers or police, since armed members of the Rohingya ethnic group launched co-ordinated attacks on police and army posts in the far west of Burma.

A United Nations report in February said the military crackdown on the Rohingya had led to gang rape, the killing of hundreds of civilians and the forced displacement of as many as 90,000 people.

The villagers were caught inside Bangladesh en route to a border refugee camp in Kutupalong, where thousands of Rohingya refugees already live in squalid conditions.

Nur, the Rohingya leader, said Bangladeshi authorities had asked him and his associates to "discourage" their people in Myanmar from leaving the country.


"The Rohingya men with burns told us they were injured in bomb blasts, but we could not get any details", SM Khaled Chowdhury of the hospital's burns unit, told bdnews24.com.

"Women and children were also among the dead", he said.

On Monday, Border Guards Bangladesh troops have pushed back 224 Rohingyas, who crossed the border in Cox's Bazar's Teknaf and Ukhiya.

At least 104 people, including 12 members of the security forces, have been killed in Rakhine state after Rohingya militants called the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army attacked police on Friday, the bloodiest fighting since hostilities erupted a year ago.

Clashes were continuing last Sunday, with witnesses contacted by phone in the northern Rakhine town of Maungdaw saying they could hear gunshots.


The Rakhine state is home to 1.1 million Rohingya people, who are widely discriminated as illegal Bangladesh immigrants by the Buddhist majority even though the Rohingya people in the area have been living in the area since ages.

Speaking of the upcoming November visit, Benedict Rogers from Christian Solidarity Worldwide said: "The pope, as a world religious and spiritual leader, has the potential to speak well in this situation" and win the trust of both Buddhist nationalists and members of the Rohingya community.

Hundreds of men from the persecuted Rohingya group appeared to have formed the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which claims to be leading the insurgency that has scorched the area since October previous year.

"A lot of people are on the run and they need serious protection and the authorities have not made it easy to help them". The UN believes that military crackdown may have amounted to ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya.

There are also reports of growing violence between ARSA and the Myanmar army, including reports that ARSA militants are shooting at Rohingyas who are trying to flee to Bangladesh. Bangladeshi villagers said they could see military helicopters hovering in the Myanmar sky. "Let us pray for our Rohingya brethren". Some 87,000 new refugees flooded into Bangladesh bringing with them harrowing stories of murder, rape and burned villages.



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