Cyprus Mail

Seven Rohingya drown as boat capsizes off Bangladesh (Update)

File photo: Rohingya refugees shelter from the rain as they wait to receive permission from the Bangladeshi army to continue their way after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, at a port in Teknaf, Bangladesh

Four Rohingya Muslims, a man, woman and two children, drowned when a small wooden fishing boat carrying dozens of refugees fleeing ethnic violence in Myanmar capsized off the Bangladesh coast on Tuesday, police said.

Residents of the coastal strip south of the Bangladesh port of Cox’s Bazar fished 37 survivors out of the water and 11 have been admitted to hospital in a critical condition, said police officer Mohammad Abul Khair of the area’s Ukhiya police station.

The boat had keeled over in choppy seas as rain fell. According to survivors they had paid 50,000 kyat ($37) to be taken to Bangladesh, having abandoned their homes in Buthidaung, in the strife-torn north of Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

In a separate incident at the southernmost tip of the Cox’s Bazar district, three Rohingya infants drowned as they slipped from their mothers’ clutches when the boat bringing them from Myanmar reached the Bangladesh shore, police official Main Uddin Khan of the region’s Teknaf police station told Reuters.

The babies, aged between three and 10 months, were lost in the waves pounding the beach. The bodies of two were found on Monday evening, and the third on Tuesday.

More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since the military in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar launched a counter-insurgency operation after attacks on security posts by Rohingya militants in late August.

United Nations officials have described the Myanmar military’s action as “ethnic cleansing”, an accusation that Myanmar denies.

Around 200 Rohingya refugees have drowned since late August, while making the perilous sea and river crossing to the safety of predominantly Muslim Bangladesh.

Related posts

China warns against travel to Australia, citing discrimination

Hong Kong legislature starts voting on China national anthem bill

Reuters News Service

British PM Johnson tells China: We’ll not walk away from Hong Kong people

India’s Modi gets Trump invite to attend G7 summit – ministry

Reuters News Service

Hong Kong leader calls out “double standards” on national security, points to U.S.

China’s ‘nervous’ Xi risks new Cold War