Srinagar: In the last week, nearly 400 people, mostly Rohingya Muslims, have died in the aftermath of the violence in Myanmar, a news report in Scroll.in said on reported on Friday.
The Myanmar military has said that this figure includes 13 security forces personnel, two government officials and 14 civilians.
“As of August 31, 38,000 people are estimated to have crossed the border into Bangladesh,” United Nations officials said.
The exodus began after Rohingya militants attacked police posts in the restive Rakhine state on August 25. They had targeted 30 police sites at an army base in a coordinated strike.
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army claimed responsibility for the attack. Violence has been rife in the region, with clashes between Muslim and Buddhist communities.
While the Myanmar Army has claimed that it is clearing out “extremist terrorists”, the Rohingyas fleeing the country have said that there is a “campaign of arson and killing” aimed to force them out.
On Thursday, Bangladeshi border guards recovered the bodies of at least 26 people, including children, that had washed ashore after their boats capsized in the Naf river, Al Jazeera reported. Nearly 20,000 such fleeing Rohingyas are stuck at the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh, United Nations officials have said, as government authorities at Cox’s Bazar have denied them entry.
Myanmar treats Rohingyas as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and does not acknowledge their rights as an official ethnic group. The community has been subjected to violence by the Buddhist majority and the Army in Myanmar. Myanmar’s de-facto leader and Nobel Peace Prize-winning laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has been criticised for failing to stand up for more than 1 million stateless Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine.
Hundreds have died starving on boats trying to flee the country, while many have settled in and around Jammu and Kashmir in India. On August 18, the National Human Rights Commission had issued a notice to India’s Home Affairs Ministry over its decision to deport Rohingya Muslim refugees to Myanmar.