Thousands of desperate Muslims flee violence and persecution in Myanmar

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Jeddah, Oct 20 (OIC-UNA/APP):Thousands more Rohingya Muslims are fleeing large-scale violence and persecution in Myanmar and crossing into Bangladesh, a drone video shot by the UN refugee agency shows.
More than half a million Rohingya are already living in squalid and overcrowded camps, where they lack access to food and healthcare, officials said.
The UNHCR video shows thousands upon thousands of Rohingya Muslims trudging along a narrow strip of land alongside what appears to be a rain-swollen creek in the Palong Khali area in southern Bangladesh.
An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 Rohingya have fled since Sunday night, UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic said, raising the overall total to 582,000 refugees who have left Burma since 25 August.
He said the latest influx came through the Anjuman Para border crossing point, and many of the new refugees explained they had fled when their villages were set on fire. Anjuman Para is in the Palong Khali area where the drone video was shot.
“As of this morning, they are still squatting in the paddy fields of Anjuman Para village in Bangladesh,” Mahecic told a news briefing.
“They are waiting for permission to move away from the border, where the sound of gunfire continues to be heard every night from the Myanmar side,” he added, using an alternative word for Myanmar.
Violence in Buddhist-majority Burma’s Rakhine state erupted after a Rohingya insurgent group known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army attacked at least 30 security outposts on August 25 and the military responded with brutal attacks against the Rohingya Muslim population, The Independent reported.
The exodus of Rohingya has continued, with a few small breaks, over the last eight weeks. The new arrivals, almost all terrified and starving, have described scenes of incredible violence with army troops and Buddhist mobs attacking Rohingya homes.
The UN has described the violence as “textbook ethnic cleansing.” Many Buddhists in Burma call the Rohingya “Bengalis” and say they migrated illegally from Bangladesh, even though they have lived in the country for generations.
Most Rohingya have been denied citizenship since 1982 and are excluded from the country’s 135 official ethnic groups, which effectively renders them stateless.