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Pope to Visit Myanmar, Bangladesh Amid Rohingya Crisis

30 August 2017

Bangladesh has said there are thousands more Rohingya massed on its border with Myanmar, where it has stepped up patrols and pushed back hundreds of civilians who have tried to enter.

This time the security response has seen more than 100 people, including some 80 militants, confirmed killed and prodded thousands of Rohingya civilians to dash for Bangladesh.

They were detained from different border points when they were trying to illegally enter the country, said Director of BGB Teknaf Battalion-2 Lt Col SM Ariful Islam. Border guards told Reuters they had sent about 550 Rohingyas back across the Naf river that separates the two countries since Monday, despite an appeal by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for Dhaka to allow Rohingyas to seek safety.

He said the oppression faced by Rohingya community in Myanmar which had happened for many years must be stopped immediately.

The Muslim villagers, who were seeking refuge from the ongoing violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, had been in a border no man's land for two days.

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"Unfortunately, what we feared appears to be occurring".

"We have already said that the Rohingya do not exist in Myanmar", he said.

The media reports that the government has intensified security operations in the area. "They are still fighting there", the army said in a statement.

The government department directly run by Suu Kyi - the State Counsellor's Office - has classified the ARSA as "terrorists" and released a flurry of statements and grim pictures of civilians allegedly shot dead by militants. "They are hunting all the Rohingya".

"It is to prevent a peaceful solution of the Rohingya problem", he added.

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The Rohingya are reviled in Myanmar, with most refused citizenship.

Almost 100 thousand Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh in the past year, though the Bangladeshi government has yet to recognize the refugee status of the displaced minority.

In a statement posted on the United Nations website, he also expressed concern at the violence and the incitement to further violence in the state since the attacks on security forces in three northern townships on Friday. "We want to stay here or else we'll get killed".

Many observers fear a repeat of 2012, when clashes between the Rakhine Buddhist majority and Rohingya minority killed almost 200 people and displaced 140,000 - a lot of them Rohingya.

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Pope to Visit Myanmar, Bangladesh Amid Rohingya Crisis