Pope laments "persecutions" of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

Pope laments

The UN refugee agency says 3,000 have managed to cross into Bangladesh in the past three days, but the vast majority have been stopped at the border despite heavy fighting in nearby villages. He would visit the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, from November 30 to December 2.

Violence has driven thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing towards Bangladesh for safety, along with a smaller exodus of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists, where they face growing danger of sickness and attempts by the Bangladesh authorities to send them home.

Amid claims by Human Rights Watch that many of their townships are on fire, Rohingya muslims are pouring into Bangladesh, which has said no new refugees will be allowed in. Members of the Rohingya community are ineligible for citizenship in Myanmar because of a controversial 1982 law.

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"Around 6,000 Myanmar nationals have gathered on the border and are trying to enter Bangladesh", a senior Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) official said, referring to the Rohingya.

Myanmar's government said it had evacuated at least 4,000 non-Muslim villagers amid ongoing clashes in northwestern Rakhine state, as thousands more Rohingya Muslims sought to flee across the border to Bangladesh on Sunday. A military source, however, blamed what he described as insurgents for torching the buildings.

Jahangir Aziz, a Bangladeshi local government representative, said that when Myanmar troops fired their guns, the crowd ran back and broke through a Bangladesh barricade and cordon of 300-400 guards.

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Speaking at a joint news conference in Ankara with his Maldivian counterpart Mohamed Asim, Çavuşoğlu condemned mass civilian casualties caused amid security force raids against Rohingya insurgents.

Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh from escalating fighting in Myanmar face the growing danger of sickness and attempts by the Bangladesh authorities to send them home despite a United Nations plea that they be allowed to stay.

The Myanmar government has arranged for 11 reporters from local and global news agencies to travel to northern Rakhine state to cover the current attacks, said Min Aung, Rakhine state's minister of municipal affairs. "So we don't know what to do", said Aung Myaing, from Taung Bro Let Way village, standing knee-deep in the river.

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Many hundreds more also took shelter on no man's land after failing to cross the border since the last two days.

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