By Mutasim Billah
Twelve Rohingya Muslims, including six children, drowned after their boat capsized as they fled Myanmar, Bangladeshi police said Monday.
Moinuddin Chowdhury, the senior officer at Teknaf police station, which lies on the Bangladeshi side of the mouth of the River Naf, said a further six people were thought missing.
The Bangladesh Coast Guard and border guards had been searching for survivors and bodies since Sunday night’s incident.
“So far 12 dead bodies have been recovered and 21 people were rescued alive with the help of local people,” Coast Guard Capt. Shahidul Islam told Anadolu Agency.
“Carrying additional people in a small wooden fishing boat may be one of the
According to TV channel NTV, at least 30 boats carrying Rohingya refugees have floundered in the river, which divides Bangladesh from the western Myanmar state of Rakhine, since Aug. 25, resulting in around 200 deaths.
In that period, around 536,000 Rohingya crossed into Bangladesh, according to the UN, as they fled a brutal military clampdown.
The operation has seen security forces and Buddhist mobs kill civilians, including women and children, loot homes and torch Rohingya villages.
Last month, Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali said around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.
Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.