Myanmar security forces had been burning down villages and shooting people like birds in Rakhine state, which has compelled thousands to leave their homes and cross over to Bangladesh, a Dhaka Tribune correspondent learned by interviewing multiple refuge seekers who recently reached different camps in Cox’s Bazar’s Ukhiya upazila.
Among them, Moulvi Junaid Ahmed, a madrasa teacher, said: “I used to teach at a Furqania madrasa in Dhekibnia's Miyarpara village. Yesterday [on Monday] the military detained me from the madrasa. Within a split second, they set fire on the madrasa. They tied me up with other detainees they picked up from different places. I tactfully escaped from there and came here.”
A 66-year-old Rohingya woman, Meherunessa, said: “We cannot go back to Rakhine because it is being attacked by the military. They are hurling bombs from helicopters on the villages.”
Recalling the horrific condition of his village, before heading towards a refugee camp, another Rohingya man, Nurul Islam, said: “We probably cannot live in Rakhine state any longer. I do not know what to do now or where I should go with my wife and son. I am not sure what I will feed my child after we go to the camp.”
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From different border points, a chopper could be seen hovering over Rakhine state several times during the day. After hovering for some time, it would head towards Maungdaw.
The chopper has been seen hovering in that manner ever since the fresh violence broke out in Rakhine state. It also lands at a camp near the country's Gumdhum border.
Within a few minutes of the landing, different places of the state gets engulfed in smoke, and the horrid sound of gunshots and mortar shells can be heard.
Notably, a rebel group attacked a police post in Rakhine state on August 24. Numerous Rohingyas and 12 policemen were killed in the attack. Due to the ongoing atrocities, countless Rohingyas are coming to Bangladesh for refuge.
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Earlier, over 70,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh in the aftermath of the October 9, 2016 attacks on security posts, joining as many as 500,000 estimated refugees who have come to Bangladesh during decades of persecution in their motherland.