Bodies of 15 children and 11 women recovered after boat carrying fleeing Rohingya sinks

Three boats carrying ethnic Rohingya fleeing violence in Burma have capsized in Bangladesh and 26 bodies of women and children have been recovered, officials said.

At least three boats carrying an unknown number of Rohingya Muslims capsized in the Naf River at Teknaf in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh border guard commander Lt Col SM Ariful Islam said.

He said the bodies of 15 children and 11 women were recovered, and it was unclear whether anyone was still missing.

The top official in Cox's Bazar, Mohammad Ali Hossain, said the bodies would be buried because no-one had claimed them.

Last week, a group of ethnic minority Rohingya insurgents attacked at least two dozen police posts in Burma's Rakhine state, triggering fighting with security forces that left more than 100 people dead and forced at least 18,000 Rohingya to flee into neighbouring Bangladesh.

Hundreds of people have been stranded in a no man's land at the countries' border, the International Organisation for Migration said.

Satellite imagery analysed by US-based Human Rights Watch indicated that many homes in northern Rakhine state were set ablaze.

Most of Burma's estimated one million Rohingya Muslims live in northern Rakhine state.

They face severe persecution in the Buddhist-majority country, which refuses to recognise them as a legitimate native ethnic minority, leaving them without citizenship and basic rights.

Longstanding tension between the Rohingya Muslims and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists erupted in bloody rioting in 2012.

That set off a surge of anti-Muslim feeling throughout the country.

AP


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