Bodies of 20 Rohingya women and children fleeing Burma wash up in Bangladesh after boat capsizes

Persecuted Muslim minority battling to escape predominately Buddhist homeland as violent military crackdown intensifies

A Rohingya refugee woman cries as they arrive at the Kutupalang makeshift Refugee Camp in Cox'€™s Bazar, Bangladesh
A Rohingya refugee woman cries as they arrive at the Kutupalang makeshift Refugee Camp in Cox'€™s Bazar, Bangladesh

Bangladesh's border guards have recovered the bodies of 20 Rohingya women and children whose boat capsized, an official said, as they fled violence in Burma amid rising pressure on Bangladesh to shelter thousands of others marooned at its land borders.

Around 18,500 Rohingya Muslims, many sick and some with bullet wounds, have managed to slip into Bangladesh since Friday when a series of coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents on security forces in the north of Burma's Rakhine state led to a massive military crackdown.

Burma has evacuated thousands of Rakhine Buddhists from the area, where ongoing clashes have so far killed at least 117 people, most of them Rohingya insurgents but also security officials.

On Thursday, the bodies of 11 Rohingya children and nine women washed up on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River that separates the two countries as their boat overturned, said Ariful Islam, a commander with Bangladesh's border guards.

The bodies of two Rohingya women and two children had been recovered on Wednesday after their boat was fired on by Burma's Border Guard Police, Islam said.

Bangladesh on Wednesday pushed back a total of 366 Rohingya trying to enter the country mainly by small wooden boats, though thousands of others have set up temporary camps along the porous land border between the countries.

Reuters

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