17 Rohingya, including children, drown fleeing Myanmar

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COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh: Bangladesh coastguards on Thursday found the bodies of 17 Rohingya, many of them children, who drowned when their boats capsized as they fled violence in Myanmar that has forced at least 18,500 to seek refuge across the border. Officials in Bangladesh say growing numbers of Rohingya are trying to cross the Naf river that divides the two countries in rickety boats ill-equipped for the rough waters as they become increasingly desperate to escape. One coast guard official who asked not to be named said the migrants were traveling on “rickety inland fishing boats” unsuitable for the choppy seas around Bangladesh. The International Organization for Migration said Wednesday that at least 18,500 Rohingya had crossed into Bangladesh since fighting erupted in Myanmar’s neighboring Rakhine state six days earlier.

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