AT LEAST 18,000 Rohingya have fl ed across the Myanmar border to Bangladesh over the past week as violence against the minority increases, the International Organisation for Migration said yesterday.
Longstanding tension between the Rohingya Muslims and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists erupted in bloody rioting in 2012.
The plight of the Rohingyas took another bad turn on Friday, 25 August when Myanmar's security forces stepped up their clearing operations in the country's north amid allegations of extrajudicial killings.
The Myanmar government called the Rohingya rebels terrorists, claiming that they were responsible for murders and arson.
Officials in Bangladesh say growing numbers of Rohingya are trying to cross the Naf river that divides the two countries in rickety boats, which often do not survive the rough waters as they become increasingly desperate to escape.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha told reporters Thailand is preparing to receive refugees and "send them back when they are ready".
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Khadija Begum, a Rohingya woman from Rathedaung, was detained on arrival by Bangladeshi officials.
On Thursday, the bodies of 11 Rohingya children and nine women washed up on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River that separates the two countries as their boat overturned, said Ariful Islam, a commander with Bangladesh's border guards.
"We will remain steadfast until we move our country above the level of contemporary civilizations with our democracy, economy and foreign policy", Erdoğan said in his message.
Some Buddhists and Hindus have also fled the violence. Police have not been able to confirm the cause of death, he said. She said ethnic Rakhine vigilantes were "participating in the burning of villages".
One arrival, Mohammed Rashid, 45, wore a surgical dressing under his eye, saying bullet splinters injured him after the Myanmar army opened fire on a group of Rohingya. He criticized the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi for not responding quickly to the army's call for a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council, which could declare a state of emergency in Rakhine and give the military absolute authority to enforce it. The latest round of fighting came after a Rohingya militant group attacked military outposts.
Jahangir Aziz, a Bangladeshi local government representative, said that when Myanmar troops fired their guns, the crowd ran back and broke through a Bangladesh barricade and cordon of 300-400 guards.