Hefazat chief Shafi urges all to stand by Rohingyas

Hefazat chief Shafi urges all to stand by Rohingyas

Four of the deceased might have been shot to death, said the OC quoting witnesses.

Since then thousands of Rohingyas - not recognised by the Myanmar government - crossed the border to flee violence.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned of a looming humanitarian catastrophe in western Myanmar after the killing of almost 400 people - mostly Rohingya Muslims - in the worst outbreak of violence in years.

The military intensified attacks on Rohingya Muslims last Friday after dozens of police and border outposts in Rakhine allegedly came under attack by a group that says it is defending the rights of the Rohingya.

The situation in Rakhine is a "matter of great concern", a senior MEA official said on Friday, adding, "A large number of people have lost their lives".

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Kiren Rijiju, India's union minister of state for home affairs, recently told parliament that the central government had asked the states to identify Rohingya Muslims living illegally and initiate deportation processes. They face persecution in the Buddhist-majority country, which refuses to recognize them as a legitimate native ethnic minority, leaving them without citizenship and basic rights.

A further 20,000 Rohingya have massed along the Bangladeshi frontier, barred from entering the South Asian country, while scores of desperate people have drowned attempting to cross the Naf, a border river, in makeshift boats.

Burma is often called Myanmar, a name that military authorities adopted in 1989.

The latest clashes in Myanmar began last Friday when Rohingya militants staged deadly attacks on police posts, prompting raids on the community and searches by troops and police.

More than 400 Hindu residents of Rakhine state crossed into Bangladesh after being attacked by armed men, officials and survivors said.

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It is the first time in Rakhine's bitter and bloody crisis that Hindus have fled the country - a sign violence is billowing out.

Media access to Rakhine is restricted, but on Wednesday an AFP reporter on a government-led visit to the worst-hit section of the state saw plumes of smoke billowing from several burning villages.

Myanmar's army has been killing unarmed women, children and elderly people through a systematic, premeditated and planned genocide against the Rohingyas, Shafi said.

Rohingya Muslims are neither accepted by Myanmar nor its neighbor Bangladesh, and live in in constant fear following the Indian government's plan to deport 40,000 Rohingya refugees.

Rohingya people find refuge at a camp near the town of Ukhia in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar district, August 29, 2017.

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"We have machetes, knives, sticks and some land mines in our possession", Omar said, adding they received a little food from villages sympathetic to their cause. Hundreds of civilians were killed, they say.

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