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Bangladesh PM asks Myanmar to take back Rohingya refugees

DHAKA — Bangladesh’s Prime Minister on Wednesday (Jan 11) asked Myanmar to take back tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees who have fled a military crackdown in the Buddhist majority nation’s Rakhine state, an official said.

According to the UN, at least 65,000 people belonging to the Muslim minority have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar — a third of them over the past week — since a military operation was launched in October following attacks on police posts.

The figure marks a sharp escalation in the numbers of Rohingya fleeing a military campaign which rights groups say has been marred by abuses so severe they could amount to crimes against humanity.

The sudden influx has put enormous strain on impoverished Bangladesh, with Dhaka under pressure to open its border to the refugees. But it has instead reinforced its border posts and deployed coastguard ships to prevent fresh arrivals.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called for a resolution to the crisis during a meeting with Myanmar’s deputy minister for foreign affairs Kyaw Tin in Dhaka.

“She said Myanmar should take back the Rohingya who migrated to Bangladesh,” Ms Hasina’s spokesman Ihsanul Karim said.

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