000 more Rohingya wait to cross

Boat tragedy claims lives of Rohingya fleeing Myanmar

An overcrowded boat carrying Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar capsized in the confluence of a river and the Bay of Bengal and at least 12 people died, police said Monday.

Numerous people on the boat were children who were travelling away from Myanmar to escape violence, according to France 24. "We recovered the bodies of two Rohingya last night and ten more were recovered this morning". It is thought up to 100 people - including children - were on board.

Out of the 12 dead, officials said 10 were children.

Local media reported that one of the survivors claimed the boat sank due to the bad weather and strong waves.

Myanmar, a mostly Buddhist nation, does not recognize the Rohingya Muslims as citizens, even though many have lived in Rakhine for generations.

Almost 520,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Rakhine state for Bangladesh since late August, many by boat across the Naf river.

Almost 520,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since August 25, the day since crisis erupted after Rohingya militants raided Myanmar police posts, leading to a brutal military backlash.

Myanmar's government denies the allegations of ethnic cleansing and has labeled as terrorists the militants from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army who launched the initial attacks.

They are presumed to have crossed the Naf River on boats.

Authorities have destroyed at least 30 wooden fishing vessels whose captains are accused of smuggling Rohingya and illegal drugs into the country.



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