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Bangladesh turns back thousands of Rohingya fleeing Myanmar violence

Bangladesh turns back thousands of Rohingya fleeing Myanmar violence

Bangladeshi border guards are turning people away in an attempt to discourage refugees from seeking safe havens in Bangladesh, he said, but many people are waiting near the border before attempting another crossing.

As many as 100 persons have been killed in the widespread attacks by Rohingya insurgents following which Myanmar's government evacuated hundreds of villagers.

Agence France-Presse reports that since Friday an estimated 3,000 Rohingya have been able to enter Bangladesh and find refuge in camps and villages.

"Police said we can't let them stay or else we would be deported".

Witnesses said they heard the sound of gunshots.

"This is an at-risk population", said Mr Smith, whose organisation had been receiving reports from within northern Rakhine of arson attacks on Rohingya villages and the killing of civilian men, women and children, though the ongoing lockdown there makes these hard to verify.

Bangladesh government sources say the unofficial policy is one of "closed doors, but open windows" - as there are many points along the more than 100km border which are easy to cross as they are not guarded.

Instead, it is far more responsible to simply amend the Charter to include a crucial qualifier to the effect that the principle of non-interference shall apply to general domestic issues only which do not adversely affect other Asean members, and that exceptions be made in matters relating to grave human rights violations, humanitarian concerns, war crimes and crimes against humanity - of which the Rohingya Muslim crisis certainly qualifies.

In spite of persecution and government restrictions, the Rohingya largely eschewed violence.

Myanmar, with a majority Buddhist population, has almost 1 million Muslim Rohingya living in the northern part of Rakhine, a western state where the violence is taking place.

Police said some of those detained had entered Bangladesh via the Ghumdhum border area - where the Myanmar forces had unleashed a barrage of fire just hours earlier.

Violence broke out in Myanmar's northwestern Rakhine State after Thursday's coordinated offensives by Rohingya insurgents wielding sticks, knives and homemade bombs on 30 police posts and an army base.

"We received sad news of the persecutions of the religious minority, our brother Rohingya", he said.

India's government is taking a strong position in favor of Myanmar's government, and against the Rohingyas.

However, "the Bangladeshi authorities need to provide protection - they have a legal obligation not to send people back", he said.

"These factors, in combination with the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Rohingya communities that resulted from separate violence in 2012, and the military crackdown past year that targeted civilians, create an environment where ARSA can increase its legitimacy and recruiting base among local communities and more easily intimidate and kill Rohingya who disagree with it and lack any real protection from the state". Some 87,000 new refugees flooded into Bangladesh bringing with them harrowing stories of murder, rape and burned villages.


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