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Iran Press TV

Hundreds Rohingya Muslims flee Myanmar to Bangladesh over past three days: Aid workers

Iran Press TV

Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:17PM

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says hundreds of minority Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar have crossed the border to seek shelter in neighboring Bangladesh over the past three days, as violence escalates in the country's northwest.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, an official with the IOM, the United Nations migration agency, said on Monday that he had witnessed more than 500 people cross Myanmar's western border with Bangladesh and enter IOM camps over that period.

UN aid workers confirmed the report without giving specific numbers, saying they saw Rohingyas who said they had recently fled the fighting in Myanmar.

"At that time, I fled with my four daughters and three grandsons to a nearby hill ... later, we managed to cross the border," a villager from the western state of Rakhine said, adding that he left Myanmar last week, after the military surrounded his home and set fire to it.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said earlier in the day that the government in Myanmar had destroyed as many as 1,250 residential structures belonging to Rohingya Muslims in the country just over the past 6 weeks.

The US-based rights body made the announcement in a statement, adducing high-definition satellite images from Rakhine.

Rakhine, home to around 1.1 million members of the minority Rohingya Muslim community, has been the scene of communal violence since 2012. Many of the Muslims have been killed while tens of thousands have been forced to flee as a result of attacks by extremist Buddhists. The Rohingyas are largely confined to camps in dire situations.

The Rohingya community, which the government brands as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, has been suffering widely-reported systematic aggression for years on end. The violence has been interpreted as an attempt to force them out of the country's demographic configuration.

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