Myanmar violence leaves 98 dead as Rohingya Muslims flee into Bangladesh

August 27, 2017 | By | Reply More

Thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar are trying to cross the border with Bangladesh, Bangladeshi security officials say, as fresh fighting erupted in Myanmar’s north-western Rakhine state.

myanmarThe death toll from widespread attacks staged by Rohingya insurgents on Friday has climbed to 98, including nearly 80 insurgents and 12 members of the security forces, the Government said, prompting it to evacuate staff and villagers from some areas.

The attacks marked a dramatic escalation of a conflict that has simmered since last October, when a similar offensive prompted a major military sweep beset by allegations of serious human rights abuses.

The treatment of approximately 1.1 million Muslim Rohingya in mainly Buddhist Myanmar has emerged as the biggest challenge for national leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who late on Friday condemned the morning raids — in which insurgents wielding guns, sticks and homemade bombs assaulted 30 police stations and an army base.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been accused by some Western critics of not speaking out for the long-persecuted Muslim minority, and of defending the army’s counter offensive after the October attacks.

Some 3,000 Rohingya arrived at the Naf river separating Myanmar and Bangladesh on Saturday, said Manzurul Hassan Khan, a Bangladeshi border guard commander.

Hundreds of Rohingya crossed into Bangladesh near the border village of Gumdhum as gun shots could be heard from the Myanmar side.

They could be seen squatting in a marshy area, hiding in the bushes from border guards.

“We managed to escape the shooting in Myanmar and tried to enter Bangladesh,” said Hamid Hossain, 42, who crossed into Bangladesh on Saturday with a group of three families.

Bangladesh’s foreign ministry on Saturday said it was concerned that thousands of “unarmed Myanmar nationals” had assembled near the border to enter the country.

Rohingya have been fleeing Myanmar to Bangladesh since the early 1990s and there are now around 400,000 in the country, where they are a source of tension between the two nations who both regard them as the other country’s citizens.

Press journalist for HRO media – Ignacio Damigo reports.

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Category: International

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