‘240,000 chil­dren’ have joined ex­o­dus

The Press and Journal (Highlands & Islands) - - WORLD NEWS -

About 240,000 chil­dren have fled Myan­mar’s Rakhine state into neigh­bour­ing Bangladesh over the last three weeks, ac­cord­ing to a UN agency.

The fig­ure – amount­ing to 60% of an es­ti­mated 391,000 Ro­hingya refugees – in­cludes about 36,000 chil­dren un­der a year old, said Unicef spokes­woman Mar­ixie Mer­cado.

Ms Mer­cado said the fig­ures in­clude about 1,100 un­ac­com­pa­nied mi­nors who crossed over the past week.

She spoke at a reg­u­lar brief­ing in Geneva that in­cluded com­ments from many UN agen­cies ad­dress­ing the cri­sis in Bangladesh.

Ms Mer­cado said: “As ev­ery­body here is go­ing to tell you, the needs are seem­ingly end­less and the suf­fer­ing is deep­en­ing.”

A Ro­hingya in­sur­gent group at­tacked po­lice posts in Rakhine on Au­gust 25, and the mil­tary of Myan­mar – also known as Burma – re­sponded with “clear­ance op­er­a­tions”.

Flee­ing Ro­hingya say se­cu­rity forces shot in­dis­crim­i­nately.

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