Army offensive aimed at 'preventing' Rohingya return

Army offensive aimed at 'preventing' Rohingya return

He has described the crisis as ethnic cleansing and said it is a breeding ground for radicalization, criminals and traffickers.

Meanwhile, in Cox's Bazar district of Bangladesh, the police said the bodies of another nine refugees washed up after an overloaded boat carrying scores of desperate Rohingyas sank in rough seas on Sunday, taking the death toll to 23, the Daily Star reported.

Myanmar's ruling party has held an interfaith rally that it said would promote religious harmony as thousands of Rohingya Muslims continue to flee persecution in northern Rakhine state.

Myanmar security forces have carried out "well-organised, coordinated and systematic" attacks aimed at preventing Rohingya ethnic group from returning, the UN Human Rights office said in a report on Wednesday.

Half of Myanmar's Rohingya have bolted over the last seven weeks, fleeing incinerated villages to join what has become the world's largest refugee camp in neighbouring Bangladesh.

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Wiggins will actually make even more money than that when you consider his lucrative endorsement contract with Adidas. He can't be paid just for what he's doing today.

But General Min Aung Hlaing, who wields vast power despite Myanmar's partial transition to democracy, downplayed the exodus of Rohingya and said the military response was proportionate.

Myanmar's government does not consider Rohingya citizens, referring to them instead as Bengalis from Bangladesh, despite their presence in the country for decades.

His comments followed a meeting with US Ambassador Scot Marciel, who according to the post "expressed concern" over the half million refugees and offered to help aid efforts.

Min Aung Hlaing accused British colonialists of moving Rohingya into Myanmar from Bangladesh and said the minority had no claim to citizenship.

This week an AFP reporter on a rare government-steered trip to the conflict-hit Rakhine heard testimony from Rohingya villagers who are scared and fast running out of food.

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