The Latest: Bangladesh lambasts Myanmar for 'atrocities'

Rohingya Muslims collect water from a tube well that was installed a few days ago at new refugee camp at Cox's Bazar Ukhia area, Bangladesh, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. With Rohingya refugees still flooding across the border from Myanmar, those packed into camps and makeshift settlements in Bangladesh were becoming desperate Saturday for scant basic resources as hunger and illness soared. Refugee camps had already been filled to capacity before the influx. Makeshift settlements were quickly appearing and expanding along roadsides, and the city of Cox's Bazar, built to accommodate only 500,000, was bursting at its seams. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
A Rohingya man stretches his arms out for food distributed by local volunteers, with bags of puffed rice stuffed into his vest at Kutupalong, Bangladesh, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. With Rohingya refugees still flooding across the border from Myanmar, those packed into camps and makeshift settlements in Bangladesh are becoming desperate for scant basic resources and dwindling supplies. Fights are erupting over food and water. Women and children are tapping on car windows or tugging at the clothes of passing reporters while rubbing their bellies and begging for food. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh — The Latest on violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state and the flood of ethnic Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh (all times local):

9 a.m.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has lambasted Myanmar for the "atrocities" that have driven hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims across the border into Bangladesh in recent weeks.

The Bangladeshi leader urged Buddhist-majority Myanmar to bring the Rohingya back, while the country's parliament passed a motion Monday night urging the U.N. and other countries to pressure Myanmar for their safety and citizenship.

"Myanmar must take back every Rohingya who has entered Bangladesh and who are coming in now," she told lawmakers late Monday. "We can cooperate to rehabilitate them in their country."

Hasina criticized Myanmar's authorities for the recent violence against the Rohingya, which she said had reached a level beyond description.

"We don't understand why successive Myanmar regimes carried out such atrocities on a particular community when the country is comprised of different groups," she said, noting that Bangladesh had long been protesting the persecution of Rohingya.

Regardless, "they are sending Rohingya to Bangladesh afresh," she said. "Women are being raped and tortured, children are being killed, and houses are being set on fire in Rakhine area."


3 a.m.

The United States says it is "deeply troubled" by the Myanmar crisis, which hundreds of thousands of Muslims have fled to escape violence.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the administration continues to condemn the violence between Rohingya (ROH'-hin-GAH') Muslims and Myanmar security forces.

The United Nations reported Monday that 313,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh to escape violence in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine — the biggest flight of the minority Rohingya in a generation.

The violence began Aug. 25, when an ethnic Rohingya insurgent group attacked police posts in Myanmar and security forces retaliated.

Villages were burned and hundreds of people died, mainly Rohingya Muslims, who are denied citizenship and regarded by Myanmar's majority Buddhists as illegal immigrants.


9 p.m.

The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says the number of people who have fled to Bangladesh to escape violence in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine has reached 313,000. The total, during the period from Aug. 25 through Sunday, is 19,000 more than Saturday's estimate of 294,000.

According to a report issued Monday by the ad hoc coordinating group of humanitarian agencies working on the refugee influx, the number of new arrivals had slowed slightly, but many were still looking for shelter and were camped on roadsides.

It also said in two local Bangladeshi communities, the local mosque committee, political leaders and community leaders were providing basic assistance to newcomers.

The violence was triggered on Aug. 25 when an ethnic Rohingya insurgent group attacked police posts in Myanmar and security forces retaliated. Many villages were burned and hundreds of people died, mainly Rohingya Muslims.


7 p.m.

The German government says it has halted several aid projects in Myanmar due to violence in the country that has caused hundreds of thousands of ethnic Rohingya Muslims to flee their homes.

Development Ministry spokeswoman Katharina Maenz said Monday that Germany mainly funds programs that support food security, job creation and medical care.

Maenz said the programs are "dormant" in those areas where violence is occurring and would be resumed as soon as it stops.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Germany is closely watching the "dramatic situation" in Buddhist-majority Myanmar. He called on all parties to the conflict and "in particular the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi," the country's leader, to take measures to end the violence.


6 p.m.

Ethnic Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar's Rakhine state say security forces have set new fires to homes in a village.

A villager said hundreds of Rohingya ran from Pa Din village on Monday after the security forces arrived in the village, fired guns and set houses on fire.

The villager, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear for his safety, said "people were scared and running out of the village."

Police, however, said the houses were burned by terrorists they called Bengalis. Many people in Buddhist-majority Myanmar use the name Bengali for Rohingya Muslims, saying they migrated illegally from neighboring Bangladesh, even though many Rohingya families have lived in Myanmar for generations.

Sann Win, a police officer in Maungdaw, said terrorists are believed to be in the area, and "that's why we assume that the houses were burned by the Bengalis."

Nearly 300,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since Aug. 25, when a Rohingya insurgent group attacked police posts and security forces retaliated. Many villages were burned and hundreds of people died, mainly Rohingya.


5:15 p.m.

Bangladesh's official human rights watchdog says the atrocities by Myanmar authorities against Rohingya must be prosecuted.

"This genocide needs to be tried at international court," National Human Rights Commission Chairman Kazi Reazul Haque told a news conference in Cox's Bazar.

"The killing, arson, torture and rape . by the Myanmar's military and border guards is unprecedented," he said.

He said stronger action was needed from the international community, including the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

He also called on China and India to play a larger role in mitigating the crisis.


3 p.m.

The U.N. human rights chief says violence and injustice faced by the ethnic Rohingya minority in Myanmar, where U.N. rights investigators have been barred from entry, "seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing."

Speaking at the start of a U.N. Human Rights Council session, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein denounced how "another brutal security operation is underway in Rakhine state — this time, apparently on a far greater scale."

Zeid, a Jordanian prince, noted that the U.N. refugee agency has reported that 270,000 people have fled to neighboring Bangladesh in the last three weeks, and pointed to satellite imagery and reports of "security forces and local militia burning Rohingya villages" and extrajudicial killings.

He said Monday that he was "further appalled" by reports of Myanmar authorities planting land mines along the border.

"The Myanmar government should stop pretending that the Rohingya are setting fire to their own homes and laying waste to their own villages," he added, calling it a "complete denial of reality" that hurts the standing of a country that recently enjoyed "immense good will."


1:10 p.m.

The Dalai Lama says the suffering of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar would have inspired Buddha to help.

The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader said those who are harassing Muslims "should remember Buddha. I think such circumstances Buddha would definitely help to those poor Muslims."

The Dalai Lama said he had also delivered this message to Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi several years ago at a meeting of Nobel Peace Prize laureates. He told reporters Saturday that the situation in Buddhist-majority Myanmar made him "very sad." The comments were captured on video at the airport in the Indian hill town of Dharamsala, where he has lived in exile for decades.

While Burmese Buddhists in Myanmar also worship the Buddha, they follow a different religious tradition than Tibetans and do not recognize the Dalai Lama as their spiritual leader.


12:30 p.m.

The Bangladesh government says it has offered a plot of land for a new camp to shelter Rohingya Muslims who have fled recent violence in Myanmar.

The violence has driven nearly 300,000 Rohingya to flee Buddhist-majority Myanmar, with many of them packed into existing camps or huddled in makeshift settlements that have mushroomed along roadsides and in open fields across Cox's Bazar district on the border.

Bangladesh's junior Foreign Minister Mohammed Shahriar Alam said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had 2,000 acres (810 hectares) near the existing camp of Kutupalong "to build temporary shelters for the Rohingya newcomers," according to a message posted Monday on his Facebook account.

He also said the government would be registering the new arrivals on Monday. Hasina is scheduled to visit Rohingya refugees on Tuesday.

(This item has been corrected to show that Bangladesh is offering 2,000 acres (810 hectares) of land for Rohingya camp, not 2 acres (0.8 hectares))

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