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UN: Rohingya exodus to Bangladesh exceeds 400,000

Bangladeshi leader seeks global help as Rohingya Muslims continue to flee Myanmar, overwhelming Bangladesh.

Rohingya exodus

More than 400,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar into Bangladesh, the United Nations says as Bangladeshi leader heads to the US to seek global help coping with the crisis.

Bangladesh has been overwhelmed by Rohingya Muslims since violence erupted in Buddhist-dominated Myanmar's Rakhine state on August 25.

On Saturday, the UN said that the total number of people to have entered Bangladesh having fled the unrest had now reached 409,000, a leap of 18,000 in a day.

Conditions are worsening in the border town of Cox's Bazar where the influx has added to pressures on Rohingya camps already overwhelmed with 300,000 people from earlier waves of refugees.

The UN said two children and a woman were killed in a "rampage" when a private group handed clothes near a camp on Friday.

Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister of Bangladesh, departed for New York City on Saturday to plead for international help and demand more pressure on Myanmar during talks at the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

"She will seek immediate cessation of violence in Rakhine state in Myanmar and ask the UN secretary-general to send a fact-finding mission to Rakhine," Nazrul Islam, a spokesman for the prime minister, told AFP news agency.

"She will also call the international community and the UN to put pressure on Myanmar for the repatriation of all the Rohingya refugees to their homeland in Myanmar," he said.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said: "We will continue international pressure on the Myanmar government to immediately end its ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya."

The foreign ministry on Friday summoned the Myanmar charge d'affaires for the third time in Dhaka to protest at alleged violations of its airspace by Myanmar drones and helicopter.

The ministry warned that the three violations between September 10 and 14 could lead to "unwarranted consequences". Myanmar did not immediately comment.

The Bangladesh government earlier protested to the embassy over the planting of landmines near their border, which have killed several Rohingya, and the treatment of the refugees.


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