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Boat carrying fleeing Rohingya Muslims sinks, at least 4 die

October 31, 2017 - 5:35 AM

DHAKA, Bangladesh - A boat carrying up to 45 Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar capsized in the Bay of Bengal on Tuesday morning, and a Bangladeshi official said four bodies were recovered.

It was not clear how many people were missing.

Mohammed Mikaruzzaman, local government administrator at Ukhiya, said some 23 people were rescued and a dozen of them were being treated.

The boat capsized Tuesday morning near Inani beach in Cox's Bazar district, which borders Myanmar.

The UN refugee agency said survivors told its staff that 42 people from six families left on a fishing boat in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state around 2 a.m. Tuesday. The boat hit rough seas and capsized, trapping people underneath, the agency said in a statement.

More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have reached refugee camps in Bangladesh since Myanmar's security forces launched operations Aug. 25 that the United Nations and others have described as "ethnic cleansing."

About 190 people trying to flee have died in boat accidents in the Bay of Bengal or nearby waterways.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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