Rohingya Muslims 'under fire' asthey cross river into Bangladesh

by Antonio Miles August 28, 2017, 1:16
Rohingya Muslims 'under fire' asthey cross river into Bangladesh

Paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh troopers surrounded at least 200 Rohingya Muslims who crossed into Bangladesh territory at Ghumdum border point of Naikkhangchhari sub-district Sunday as the guards were asked not to allow them into Bangladesh, said SM Sarwar Kamal, chief of Upazila administration.

The refugees were caught 4 km inside the Bangladeshi border.

Members of the Muslim Rohingya minority escaped to the border with Bangladesh but Bangladeshi border guards are turning them back.

Rohingya members in Bangladesh say that Myanmar's fresh agitation is retaliation to an investigation by an advisory commission led by former United Nations chief Kofi Annan which urged the Myanmar government to reinstate citizenship of the Rohingya and end persecution on the community.

Almost 4,000 to 5,000 Rohingyas have entered Bangladesh between Saturday evening and Sunday morning and have sought shelter at various places including the Balukhali and Leda makeshift camps as well as in other villages, said members of the Rohingya community in Cox's Bazar.

The western state is bisected by religious hatred focused on the stateless Rohingya Muslim minority, who are reviled by many Buddhists and perceived as illegal immigrants.

"We appeal the worldwide community to exercise "the Responsibility to Protect" as the Rohingya civilian population plunges into another episode of widespread "crimes against humanity" under the hands of Myanmar Armed Forces", said the body in the statement. An estimated 150 insurgents attempted to storm the base but "soldiers fought back", authorities said.

The victims had allegedly been shot dead by Rohingya militants on Saturday evening as they tried to flee to Maungdaw, a relative who lived in the town told AFP.

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The Rohingya refugees were stranded at the Naf river that separates Myanmar and Bangladesh, Deputy Commissioner of Cox's Bazar district Mohammad Ali Hossain told Reuters.

This is the most significant outbreak of violence in Rakhine since October 2016, when nine policemen died in similar attacks on border posts.

The most recent flare up followed a report by a commission led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on the conditions inside Rakhine.

The report urged the scrapping of restrictions of movement and citizenship imposed on Rohingya.

The treatment of approximately 1.1 million Muslim Rohingya in mainly Buddhist Myanmar has emerged as the biggest challenge for national leader.

The European Rohingya Council (ERC) on Sunday voiced concern over the plight of Rohingya population following the attacks in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

Myanmar's government has accused armed men from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) of carrying out the deadly attack on police outposts, which sparked the latest violence.

Myanmar says the group is headed by Rohingya jihadists who were trained overseas but it is unclear how large the network is and they appear to be using homespun weapons in addition to guns seized during their raids.

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