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Hundreds of Rohingya try to escape Myanmar crackdown

By BBC

Hundreds of people from the Rohingya minority in Myanmar are trying to escape a military crackdown by crossing the border into Bangladesh.

The people attempting to flee include children.

Witnesses and Bangladeshi officials say that some people trying to flee have been shot and killed.

At least 130 people have died during a military operation in Rakhine state, where many of the minority live, in just over a month.

Activists say hundreds of homes have been burnt to the ground but the government rejects that claim. Foreign reporters have not been allowed into the area.

Rakhine is home to more than a million Rohingya Muslims, who are not recognised as Myanmar citizens.

People in the country tend to consider them illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.

The state has seen simmering tension between its Buddhist and Muslim populations following co-ordinated attacks last month that killed nine police officers, which police blamed on the Rohingya.

Since then, soldiers have closed down parts of Rakhine state and stopped aid workers and independent observers from entering.

The government says “violent attackers” and some members of the security forces have been killed.

Around 100,000 Rohingya people still live in camps after violence that flared up in 2012 forcing them to leave their homes.

Last year, images of hundreds of Rohingya people floating in fishing boats shocked the world. They were trying to escape by sea to Malaysia. Asian countries agreed to work together to try to stem the crisis.

And Aung San Suu Kyi’s government has opened a governmental commission to examine the problems in Rakhine state.