Fleeing Rohingya Muslims watch as homes burn
Days after fleeing their village on the Myanmar side of the border fence, a group of Rohingya Muslims watched from just inside Bangladesh as yet another house went up in flames.
“You see this fire today,” said Farid Alam, one of the Rohingya who watched the fire burn from about 500 metres away. “That is my village.”
The villagers said they had escaped days ago, crossing into Bangladesh at the border point of Tumbru and joining thousands of other ethnic Rohingya huddling in the open in the district of Bandarban to escape recent violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
When they crossed the border, they saw land mines that had been newly planted by Myanmar forces, Alam said.
Thousands of Rohingya are continuing to stream across the border, with UN officials and others demanding that Myanmar halt what they describe as a campaign of ethnic cleansing that has driven nearly 400,000 Rohingya to flee in the past three weeks.
That number includes an estimated 240,000 children, UNICEF said in Geneva on Friday.