At Least 21 Rohingyas Die as Boat Sinks off Bangladesh

44 Rohingya protestors nabbed over illegal rally

71 Rohingya held for staging illegal gathering (Updated)

A series of coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents on security forces in the north of Myanmar's Rakhine state have led to a massive military crackdown since Friday, and the ongoing clashes have so far killed at least 117 people, majority Rohingya insurgents but also security officials.

Rohingya Muslims are a persecuted minority in Myanmar, which is predominantly Buddhist.

Bangladesh border guard commander Lt. Col. S.M. Ariful Islam said at least three boats carrying an unknown number of Rohingya Muslims sank in the Naf River at Teknaf in Cox's Bazar on Wednesday.

Rohingya representatives have said approximately 400 people were slain during the operation. "We will make more arrest on the protesters as we investigate the incident", he said. He called on the global community and rights groups to apply pressure on the Myanmar government.

"Aung San Suu Kyi has been putting out statements (which are) consistently disturbing, and her office is generating anti-Rohingya, anti-aid worker propaganda, fueling tensions in the country", Matthew Smith, co-founder of human rights group Fortify Rights, told CNN this week.

The incident took place when refugees were trying to reach Cox's Bazar district in southeast Bangladesh to escape ongoing violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state, a Dhaka-based newspaper the Daily Star reported. Bangladeshi border guards have recovered two dozen bodies from the country's shore in the last two days.

The influx was triggered by a dramatic escalation in violence between the security forces and the insurgents.

"Villagers are running away. where do we have to live now?" the villager said.

Some 87,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since past year amid the crackdown. "And it seems to be spreading from south to north". The Dumlupınar Battle on August 30, 1922 also saw invading Greek forces' eventual defeat at the hands of the Turkish army. Following the independence from the British, Burma was changed to Myanmar and the Rohingya were denied the citizenship under the new leadership.

The Naf river that divides the two countries is narrow in places, but the Rohingya are increasingly crossing where the river is wider, or even venturing out to sea, after Bangladeshi authorities toughened their border patrols.

In a telephone call to the Secretary General, Erdogan stressed the vital importance of urgent intervention by the United Nations and the worldwide community to stop the crisis. They fear lack of accommodation and sanitation facilities may lead to abuse of young girls.

Latest News