Rohingya boat toll rises to 23 as more bodies found


Authorities in Bangladesh said the boat was carrying between 60 and 100 people when it overturned and sank late Sunday in rough seas.

At least 14 Rohingya refugees, majority children, drowned and scores more were missing Monday after their overloaded boat capsized in the latest tragedy to strike those fleeing violence in Myanmar.

Several thousand Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar surged into Bangladesh on Monday, officials said, with reports of children dying from hunger, exhaustion and fever among the latest wave of refugees.

More than half a million refugees have arrived in Bangladesh since August 25, fleeing a military crackdown that followed attacks by Rohingya militants on police posts.

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The refugees accuse Myanmar's army - flanked by mobs of ethnic Rakhine - of slaughtering them and burning their villages in a campaign which the United Nations says amounts to "ethnic cleansing".

Myanmar's government regards them as illegal migrants from Bangladesh, even if they have lived in the country for generations.

Refugees and rights groups say the army and Buddhist vigilantes use killing and arson to drive the Rohingya out of Myanmar.

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Numerous people on the boat were children who were travelling away from Myanmar to escape violence, according to France 24. "We have to cross quickly but we don't have the money to pay for the boat", one Rohingya father of four told an AFP reporter in Rakhine state.

Cholera was a major killer in Bangladesh until in the 1970s, but the country has seen major improvements in sanitation facilities since then.

Most of the Rohingyas cross the Naf river at its narrowest point.

When Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali was speaking at a discussion on Tuesday, he noted that "Myanmar's proposal of partial repatriation might be a "trick" to neutralise the mounting pressure from the global community".

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"We feel deeply sorry for the reaction from global countries based on news without truth". "Many show signs of malnutrition", the IOM statement said.