Rohingya crisis: Refugee boat capsizes, leaving 14 dead

Rohingya crisis: Refugee boat capsizes, leaving 14 dead

US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat today said her country will stand beside Bangladesh to mitigate the crisis of Rohingya people fleeing from Myanmar.

Reports of atrocities committed against Rohingya Muslims in Burma's Rakhine state have caused widespread concern, while more than 400,000 people thought to have fled to Bangladesh to seek refuge from persecution.

They said the government had told them the trip would happen next week.

United Nations aid personnel were forced to leave Rakhine when the military began a crackdown on Rohingya militants behind attacks on security personnel in August.

Those who have made it to Bangladesh have brought with them multiple accounts of murder and systematic arson of their villages by Myanmar soldiers and mobs of ethnic Rakhine, who are Buddhists.

But the military say they are targeting only militants.

Almost half a million Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar have poured into Bangladesh in a little over a month, joining hundreds of thousands who fled earlier convulsions of violence and persecution in the Buddhist-majority country.

Assessing the situation on the ground in Rakhine is hard because access is tightly controlled.

Aid groups said on Thursday the total number of refugees in Bangladesh was now 502,000 while Bangladesh police said 14 refugees drowned when their boat capsized off the coast in bad weather.

Aid groups dismissed the accusations, which they said had inflamed anger towards them among Buddhists in the communally divided state, and called for an end to "misinformation and unfounded accusations".

Nine of the victims were children and the others women, police official Chailaw Marma told the BBC.

Later on Thursday, the UN Security Council will meet in NY to discuss the crisis. On Thursday UK Foreign Office minister Mark Field met Ms Suu Kyi and urged her to end the violence.

The de facto leader of the country, Aung San Suu Kyi, whose stance on the violence being carried out under her watch has earned her a reputation as an apologist for the abusive forces, recently claimed that no violence had taken place since September 5.

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