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6,700 Rohingya died in the first month of the exodus, according to Doctors Without Borders

The NGO claims that 69% died by gunshot and that 730 victims were less than five years old

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6,700 Rohingya died in the first month of the exodus, according to Doctors Without Borders

At least 6,700 Rohingya, of which 730 were children, died in first month of offensive of Myanmar Army (formerly Burma) against rebels in state of Rakhine, last August, according to a report by NGO Médecins Sin Frontières (MSF), presented this Thursday . This number of deaths is highest facilitated since violence erupted in area and provoked a massive human crisis, in which almost 650,000 people of this Muslim minority have fled in dire conditions in Myanmar towards Bangladesh in just three months. The UN and United States have described this exodus of "ethnic cleansing."

More information
  • Return to origin of exodus
  • Myanmar and Bangladesh sign an agreement for return of Rohingya
  • United States denounces "ethnic cleansing" against Rohingya in Myanmar

"We estimate, being very conservative in this, that at least 6,700 Rohingya have died, including 730 children under age of five," said MSF medical director Sidney Wong. The numbers of victims come from a survey of 2,434 families in refugee camps. "We met and talked to survivors of Myanmar and what we discovered was amazing. They all talked about a family member who was killed or injured, "he added.

The organization notes that if proportion of deaths in population surveyed extends to rest of newcomers, a total of 647,000 to date, between 9,425 and 13,759 Rohingya died in first 31 days after onset of violence, including , 1,000 children under age of five.

The data collected specify that 69% of dead were shot, followed by burnings within ir homes (9%) or bludgeoned (5%). In case of children under age of five, 59 were shot dead, 15 burned alive in ir homes, seven appealed and 2% by mine explosions.

Rohingya in a row to get help in a refugee camp. ALKIS KONSTANTINIDIS REUTERS

MSF data contrasts with those provided by Myanmar authorities, which ensure that only 400 people, including 376 "terrorists" of this Muslim ethnic group, died in first months of military offensive.

On 23 November, Burma and Bangladesh signed an agreement to enable return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who fled Burmese state of Rakhine after two waves of violence (9 October and 25 August) of security forces. The UN denounced in September that military campaign carried out by Burmese authorities in Rakhine against Rohingya supposed "a manual ethnic cleansing".

The military operations were launched in response to assaults on Burmese armed forces barracks by Rohingya Salvation Army in Arakan (ARSA).  More than 621,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since n, about a million living in Rakhine. Myanmar considers Rohingya "Bengali illegal immigrants" and does not recognize m as one of its 135 ethnic groups, although y have been living in region for centuries.

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