Myanmar violence drives Rohingya Muslims to cross into Bangladesh


Thousands of Rohingya Muslims have gathered on Myanmar's border to cross into Bangladesh after ethnic violence killed nearly 90 people in the country's restive state of Rakhine, officials said on Saturday.

The Bangladeshi Foreign Ministry in a statement urged the Myanmar government to ensure protection of the members of the minority group fleeing violence at their homes. More than 1 million Rohingya live in Rakhine state and have been subjected to decades of persecution, including restrictions on freedom of movement.

"Thousands of unarmed civilian including women, children and elderly people from the Rakhine State have assembled close to the border and making attempts to enter Bangladesh," the statement said.

Bangladeshi troopers, who were put on alert, have thwarted an attempt by 76 Rohingya Muslims to cross the river Naf that separated Bangladesh from Myanmar, said Lieutenant Colonel Manjurul Ahsan Khan, a Bangladeshi border officer. Khan told local media that Myanmar police fired their guns on Rohingya Muslims who fled the violence and gathered along the river.

The group of Rohingya left their homes in Rakhine after Myanmar troopers launched an offensive on Friday against suspected Rohingya insurgents, leaving 12 security officers and 77 Rohingya dead.   

Abdur Rahim, a Rohingya refugee living in an unregistered camp in Kutupalong of southern Bangladeshi district of Cox's Bazar, said at least 7,000 people who were driven away from their homes have reached the border. They have been living in the open on the bank of the Naf river, he said.

Some who managed to cross into Bangladesh said the Burmese military torched numerous homes and forced the residents to cross the river, Rahim told journalists by phone from the camp.    (dpa)

Related articles on

Desperate Rohingya seek new escape routes from Bangladesh

Anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar and Sri Lanka: Surge of radical Buddhism in South Asia

Ethnic violence against Burma's Rohingya Muslims: One of the most persecuted minorities in the world


In submitting this comment, the reader accepts the following terms and conditions: reserves the right to edit or delete comments or not to publish them. This applies in particular to defamatory, racist, personal, or irrelevant comments or comments written in dialects or languages other than English. Comments submitted by readers using fantasy names or intentionally false names will not be published. will not provide information on the telephone. Readers' comments can be found by Google and other search engines.