As Myanmar fighting swells, a desperate flight to the border

Lydia FlemingAug 29, 2017

"We split into two groups, one will provide security at police outposts and the other group is going out for clearance operation with the military", he said.

Pope Francis' appeal came after fighting between the Rohingya and the regular Burmese army on Friday in the city of Maungdaw, which is reported to be the worst since October of past year, and has prompted evacuations from the area of government personnel and of non-Muslims.

The death toll from those attacks climbed to more than 100, according to Myanmar's army.

Independent confirmation of the situation is hard because the government bars journalists from the area.

Rohingya in a makeshift shelter near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, their movement restricted by Bangladesh border controls, in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, August 27, 2017.

Many Myanmar Buddhists regard the Rohingya as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, despite their long ties to the area.

The Rohingya Muslim community are in dire need of the protections these instruments offer, now more than ever.

In India, an estimated 40,000 Rohingya refugees live in different states.

He said: "They have been suffering, they are being tortured and killed, simply because they uphold their Muslim faith". "I have lost my entire family this time".

The statement says they hope that the State will take into consideration the safety and security of the civilian communities in this just war.

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Bangladeshi authorities intercepted, detained and forcibly returned Rohingya civilians fleeing along their border with Myanmar despite ongoing fighting between Myanmar's security forces and Rohingya militias. "The patrol in my area is not that tight often, especially during changing of shifts", he said.

"We waited till nightfall and later entered in Bangladesh, escaping the eyes of Bangladeshi border guards".

"We started running for cover when Myanmar army started firing indiscriminately on Friday", he said.

He said that "Bangladesh is already overburdened" and "is unable to take more Rohingya".

Nur, the Rohingya leader, said Bangladeshi authorities had asked him and his associates to "discourage" their people in Myanmar from leaving the country.

In more recent months the group has become less publicly Islamic, changing its name to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.

Suu Kyi has called Thursday's attacks "a calculated attempt to undermine the efforts of those seeking to build peace and harmony in Rakhine state".

At least 96 people have been killed in the Rakhine region of Myanmar since early Friday, according to government figures.

Myanmar security forces intensified operations against Rohingya insurgents on Monday, police and other sources said, following three days of clashes with militants in the worst violence involving Myanmar's Muslim minority in five years.

For some years now, worldwide human rights groups and the United Nations have reported wide-scale human rights violations against the Rohingyas, including extrajudicial killings, gang rapes, arsons and other violence.

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