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At least 14 dead as Rohingya boat capsizes off Bangladesh

At least 14 dead as Rohingya boat capsizes off Bangladesh”

A half-million Rohingya Muslims have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh in the past year, a lot of them since August 25, when Rohingya insurgent attacks on security forces prompted a military crackdown and reprisals by majority Buddhists.

An unknown number of people are internally displaced, while hundreds of thousands lack food, shelter and medical services, said the groups, including Care International, Oxfam and Save the Children.

Humanitarian organizations are very anxious about the well-being of all those affected by the recent violence in northern Rakhine State - in particular, extremely vulnerable individuals including children, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly, and persons with disabilities - many of whom were already experiencing acute food insecurity and malnutrition and not receiving treatment before the crisis began.

The government has put the Myanmar Red Cross in charge of aid to the state, with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

UNHCR emphasizes that refugees are victims of violence and persecution who need worldwide protection and assistance.

But the groups said they feared aid getting through would "not be sufficient to meet the enormous humanitarian needs".

A representative of the oppressed Rohingya on Wednesday called on the global community to protect the Rohingya Muslim people.

Witnesses said that the boat capsized just metres from the coast.

"Minutes later, the waves washed the bodies to the beach".

Access to the area by relief agencies and global media has been heavily controlled by Myanmar's army and government.

It is unclear how many refugees would be willing to return, or have the documents they will likely need to qualify. They said that the Myanmar authorities have confined 45 corpses to flames since Sunday.

"The government hates us", said refugee Zafar Alam, 55, sheltering from rain near a refugee settlement in Bangladesh, referring to the Myanmar government. She said this at a small Hindu village in Cox's Bazar near the sprawling Rohingya camps.

On Thursday, the United Nations said a planned visit to the state was postponed due to weather conditions there. They will go on Monday, an official said.



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