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Terrified Rohingya Muslims await chance to enter Bangladesh

A Rohingya child sleeps inside a basket where he was carried as a group of Rohingya fled Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
November 01, 2017 - 6:27 PM

PALONG KHALI, Bangladesh - The scene has played out with heartbreaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighbouring Bangladesh: terrified knots of men, women and children crossing the swollen Naf river and waiting along the border for permission to cross.

On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving people waited in rice paddy fields at one border crossing for Bangladesh border guards to let them enter. Evening fell, with no permission granted.

So they waited, crouched in the muddy fields. The children carried younger siblings. The elderly were helped along by relatives.

All of them were hungry and exhausted as they waited. Some collapsed. Others wept as they clung to their children.

The exodus of Rohingya Muslims started Aug. 25 when insurgents attacked dozens of police posts in Myanmar.

The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal.

Hundreds of Rohingya villages in Rakhine state have been set on fire. Fleeing Rohingya have told stories of arson and rape and shootings by Myanmar soldiers and Buddhist mobs.

The violence, which the U.N. describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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