Rohingya refugees walk on the shore with their belongings after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by boat through the Bay of Bengal in Teknaf, Bangladesh, September 7, 2017.(REUTERS Photo)
Rohingya refugees walk on the shore with their belongings after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by boat through the Bay of Bengal in Teknaf, Bangladesh, September 7, 2017.(REUTERS Photo)

UN says more than 250,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh

In the last two weeks alone 164,000 mostly Rohingya civilians have fled to Bangladesh, overwhelming refugee camps that were already bursting at the seams and triggering warnings of a humanitarian crisis.
By Agence France-Presse | Agence France-Presse, Cox's Bazar
UPDATED ON SEP 07, 2017 09:17 PM IST

More than a quarter of a million mostly Rohingya refugees have entered Bangladesh since fresh violence erupted in Myanmar last October, the United Nations said on Thursday, as more bodies washed up a day after boats sank attempting to cross the river that divides the two countries.

In the last two weeks alone 164,000 mostly Rohingya civilians have fled to Bangladesh, overwhelming refugee camps that were already bursting at the seams and triggering warnings of a humanitarian crisis.

Scores more have died trying to flee the fighting in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where witnesses say entire villages have been burned to the ground since Rohingya militants launched a series of coordinated attacks on August 25, prompting a military-led crackdown.

Police in Bangladesh say they have recovered the bodies of 17 people, many of them children, who drowned when at least three boats packed with Rohingya refugees sank at the mouth of the Naf river that runs along the border.

Bangladesh border guards say desperate Rohingya are attempting to cross the river using small fishing trawlers that are dangerously overcrowded.

At least five have capsized leaving more than 60 people dead, police and border guards say.

Rohingya refugee Tayeba Khatun said she and her family had waited four days for a place on a boat to take them to Bangladesh after fleeing her township in Rakhine.

“People were squeezing into whatever space they could find on the rickety boats. I saw two of those boats sink,” she told AFP.

“Most managed to swim ashore but the children were missing.”

Those flocking into Bangladesh have brought with them harrowing testimony of murder, rape and widespread arson by Myanmar’s army.

Most have walked for days to reach Bangladesh and the United Nations says many are sick, exhausted and in desperate need of shelter, food and water.

Existing camps which hosted around 400,000 refugees before the latest influx are now completely overwhelmed, leaving tens of thousands of new arrivals with nowhere to shelter from the monsoon rains.

Mazor Mustafa, a Bangladeshi businessman handing out food and rehydration fluids, said the situation was getting worse as more people arrived.

“It is not at all enough food,” he told AFP of the ration kits being distributed.

“These people are hungry, starving to death together.”

The latest figures mean that nearly a quarter of Myanmar’s 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims have fled since fighting first broke out last October.

Impoverished Bangladesh initially tried to block them from entering, but has now given up attempting to stem the tide.

Yesterday its foreign ministry summoned the Myanmar ambassador to demand immediate measures to curb the violence.

The Rohingya are denied citizenship in mainly Buddhist Myanmar, which is under growing international pressure over its apartheid-like treatment of the stateless minority.

UN investigators have said a military crackdown that followed ambushes by Rohingya militants in October last year may amount to ethnic cleansing.

The recent fighting is the fiercest in Rakhine, Myanmar’s poorest state, in years.

Cattle rancher Mohammad Shaker, 27, crossed into Bangladesh today suffering a gunshot wound to his chest that he said was inflicted by Myanmar soldiers.

“I tried to flee with our stock near the river when the military started shooting at us,” he told AFP, nursing his untreated wound.

“I fell on the ground and later my relatives found me. We hid in the hills for days, and this morning managed to come here.”

Scores of refugees have arrived in Bangladesh needing treatment for serious bullet wounds, while others have lost limbs after apparently setting off landmines along the border.

Today a mass funeral was held at a mosque near the border for five men whose relatives said they had been shot dead by the Myanmar military. The relatives carried their bodies over the border so they could be buried in Bangladesh.

Myanmar says some 27,000 mainly ethnic Buddhist Rakhine have also fled in the opposite direction since August 25, accusing Rohingya militants of targeting their communities.

Myanmar’s government, led by Nobel peace prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has rejected allegations of atrocities, accusing the international media, NGOs and the UN of fabrications.

It has placed the blame for the violence squarely on the militants, saying they are setting fire to their own homes.

Myanmar said today that 6,600 Rohingya homes and 201 non-Muslim homes had been burned to the ground since August 25.

They added some 30 civilians had been killed -- seven Rohingyas, seven Hindus and 16 Rakhine Buddhists -- in the fighting.

Myanmar’s army has previously said around 430 people had been killed in the fighting, including militants and soldiers.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
The noted Pakistani lawmakers whose names feature in the list are Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination (IPC) Fehmida Mirza, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui. (Representative Image)(Reuters)
The noted Pakistani lawmakers whose names feature in the list are Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination (IPC) Fehmida Mirza, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui. (Representative Image)(Reuters)

Pak EC suspends membership of 154 lawmakers over failure to submit asset details

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:48 PM IST
As per the country's laws, lawmakers are required to submit their financial statements, along with those of their spouses and children, by December end each year.
Close
Nancy Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff had earlier confirmed that a laptop was stolen from a conference room.(AP)
Nancy Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff had earlier confirmed that a laptop was stolen from a conference room.(AP)

FBI probes tip that woman stole laptop from Pelosi’s office to sell to Russia

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Kunal Gaurav
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:41 PM IST
A witness, described as a former romantic partner of the woman, dialled FBI’s telephone tip line, claiming that he spotted her in video footage taken from inside the US Capitol building.
Close
Covid-19 was first detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019, before seeping beyond China's borders to wreak global havoc, costing more than two million lives and eviscerating economies.(REUTERS)
Covid-19 was first detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019, before seeping beyond China's borders to wreak global havoc, costing more than two million lives and eviscerating economies.(REUTERS)

Pandemic response probe team says WHO, China could have acted faster

AFP, Geneva
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:33 PM IST
  • The panel also criticised WHO for dragging its feet at the start of the crisis, pointing out that the UN health agency had not convened its emergency committee until January 22, 2020.
Close
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the National Press Club in Washington. (REUTERS)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the National Press Club in Washington. (REUTERS)

China calls Pompeo 'Mr. Liar'; dismisses charge against Wuhan’s bio-lab

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:26 PM IST
The state department document also alleged that "for many years the United States has publicly raised concerns about China’s past biological weapons work, which Beijing has neither documented nor demonstrably eliminated.
Close
Members of the military wait inside the Capitol after an "external security threat" prior to a dress rehearsal for the 59th inaugural ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, at the US Capitol. ( AFP)
Members of the military wait inside the Capitol after an "external security threat" prior to a dress rehearsal for the 59th inaugural ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, at the US Capitol. ( AFP)

US Capitol lockdown lifted after fire in homeless camp brought under control

Reuters
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:41 PM IST
  • The Capitol Police in a statement said the lockdown was lifted and the fire nearby was contained.
Close
US President Donald Trump arrives for the Independence Day events at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota, on July 3, 2020. (AFP file)
US President Donald Trump arrives for the Independence Day events at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota, on July 3, 2020. (AFP file)

Trump to issue 100 pardons, to leave for Florida before Biden inauguration

By Yashwant Raj , edited by Vinod Janardhanan
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:11 PM IST
Trump reviewed the pardons with his son-in-law Jared Kushner, daughter Ivanka Trump, both senior White House aides, and other officials for most of the day on Sunday, the Washington Post reported citing sources. Announcements are expected on Monday or Tuesday.
Close
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan(AP)
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan(AP)

Pak PM Imran pitches for border markets with Afghanistan, Iran

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:08 PM IST
Khan chaired a review meeting here to discuss the establishment of such markets to provide job opportunities to local people and to control smuggling, according to his office.
Close
US President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris looks on during a televised speech on the current economic and health crises,(REUTERS)
US President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris looks on during a televised speech on the current economic and health crises,(REUTERS)

Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for US

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:41 PM IST
With the coronavirus raging, unemployment claims soaring and partisan divisions sharpening, Biden faces a fraught moment as he prepares to deliver a speech that aides say he wants to use to “call Americans to unity.”
Close
A vial and syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo.(Reuters)
A vial and syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo.(Reuters)

Bhutan to receive Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from India

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:41 PM IST
This comes after the Nepal Government approved the emergency use of the 'Covishield' vaccine last week, which is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
Close
High-level security officials make a survey of the East Front of the Capitol after an announcement of security problems during inauguration rehearsal.(AP)
High-level security officials make a survey of the East Front of the Capitol after an announcement of security problems during inauguration rehearsal.(AP)

US Capitol lockdown lifted after fire in homeless camp prompts security concerns

AP
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:45 PM IST
Four law enforcement officials said that there had been a blaze several blocks over and the rehearsal was evacuated in an abundance of caution.
Close
The evacuation of some participants and the lockdown were ordered by the acting chief of Capitol Police in an abundance of caution, officials said.(REUTERS)
The evacuation of some participants and the lockdown were ordered by the acting chief of Capitol Police in an abundance of caution, officials said.(REUTERS)

Inauguration rehearsal evacuated after fire in homeless camp

AP
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:01 PM IST
  • Law enforcement officials said there was no threat to the public and the fire was not believed to be a threat to the inauguration.
Close
A Sri Lankan Christian family grieves as municipal cemetery workers carry the body of their family member who died of Covid-19 for cremation in Colombo, Sri Lanka.(AP)
A Sri Lankan Christian family grieves as municipal cemetery workers carry the body of their family member who died of Covid-19 for cremation in Colombo, Sri Lanka.(AP)

Fear of Covid-19 spread forces Sri Lanka to reduce its Parliament sessions

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:36 PM IST
The Committee on Parliamentary Business has decided that Parliament will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday only, following the Covid-19 cases reported last week, the official said.
Close
Pakistani politician Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), wave to the supporters during an anti-government protest rally organized by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in Lahore, Pakistan.(Reuters)
Pakistani politician Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), wave to the supporters during an anti-government protest rally organized by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in Lahore, Pakistan.(Reuters)

PDM announces new round of anti-government rallies across Pakistan

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:29 PM IST
Accusing Imran Khan of seeking the biggest National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) in the foreign funding case, the PDM chief said "Foreign funding case is the biggest scandal in the country's history and Imran Khan is the main accused in the case."
Close
Assistant Public Defender Courtney Smallwood said Singh does not have a criminal record. She also said it was unclear why Singh, who is unemployed, came to Chicago or if he has ties to the area. (Representative Image)(Reuters File Photo)
Assistant Public Defender Courtney Smallwood said Singh does not have a criminal record. She also said it was unclear why Singh, who is unemployed, came to Chicago or if he has ties to the area. (Representative Image)(Reuters File Photo)

Man arrested after allegedly hiding 3 months at Chicago airport due to Covid-19

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:17 PM IST
Aditya Singh, 36, is charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanor theft after he was arrested Saturday.
Close
Western countries may consider targeted sanctions on Russian individuals deemed to have been involved in Navalny's arrest and any decision to jail him.(AFP)
Western countries may consider targeted sanctions on Russian individuals deemed to have been involved in Navalny's arrest and any decision to jail him.(AFP)

How might EU react after Russia arrests opposition leader Alexei Navalny

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:04 PM IST
Here are some of the measures which the EU might consider taking, based on proposals mooted in previous cases when the West considered sanctions against Russia.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP