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Police: 8 dead, 21 rescued as boat carrying Rohingya sinks off Bangladesh

Police said on Monday that eight people drowned when a boat carrying Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar capsized in a river they were attempting to cross to reach Bangladesh.

Officer Sheikh Ashrafuzzaman said the local residents and coastguards pulled the bodies of four children and four women after the boat sank early in the morning in the Naf River, which separates Bangladesh from Myanmar.

“Twenty-one passengers were rescued, while many others are believed to have gone missing,’’ the officer said.

According to local government official Nurul Alam, survivors said the boat was carrying over 60 passengers when it sank near Shah Porir Dwip, the southern-most tip of Bangladesh.

UN says an estimated 537,000 Rohingya Muslims have entered Bangladesh since the Myanmar army launched an anti-insurgency crackdown seven weeks ago in Rakhine state.

No fewer than 180 Rohingya have drowned while trying to cross the border over the Naf River since the violence began on Aug. 25.



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