Over 600,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh, UN says

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DHAKA: More than 600,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since violence erupted in northern Rakhine in August, a UN report said Sunday.
The grim new landmark comes as authorities in Bangladesh were bracing for another possible surge in Rohingya arrivals, with thousands from the Muslim minority believed to be stranded along the border waiting to cross.
Rohingya refugees have headed for Bangladesh in huge numbers after militant attacks on Myanmar security forces in Rakhine state sparked a major army crackdown on the community likened to ethnic cleansing by the UN.
Now the UN-led Inter-Sector Coordination Group (ISCG), which is directing the humanitarian effort, has said an estimated 603,000 refugees from Rakhine have crossed the border into Bangladesh since August 25.
“Cross border movement of over 14,000 newly arrived refugees has been verified in the past week,” the ISCG report said.
Bangladesh border guards are also concerned the relaxation later Sunday of a temporary ban on fishing in the Bay of Bengal could see a surge in people-smuggling along the coast as unscrupulous captains return to the seas.
Rohingya refugees already in Bangladesh have received videos from families across the border showing thousands of displaced Muslims massing near crossing points, waiting for an opportunity to cross.
Around 10,000 refugees were left stranded in no man’s land near Anjumanpara village for three days last week after being prevented from crossing into Bangladesh.

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