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UN raises estimated number of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh to 537,000

The report by the Inter-Sector Coordination Group of the UN includes data up to October 14

IANS  |  Dhaka 

Rohingya issue
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The has raised the number of newly arrived Rohingya in fleeing violence in Myanmar to 537,000.

This is an increase of about 1,000 since the last UN report.

The report by the Inter Sector Coordination Group of the UN includes data up to October 14 and said the UN had been able to verify the arrival of 18,000 new last week, Efe news reported.

The report also said that the makeshift settlements in Kutupalong and Balukhali in the Cox's Bazar area, which have joined together due to increasing arrivals, have received 374,000 persons.

Another 89,000 have taken shelter with local host communities.

"The speed and scale of the influx has resulted in a critical humanitarian emergency," the report said.

The government had counted 27,825 families and the Ministry of Home Affairs had registered 161,963 until now, which is around 28 per cent of the total refugee population, according to the report.

The UN said that all the recently arrived were in need of food, medical services and housing, although only 37,000 families had received an emergency kit, which includes a tarpaulin for temporary shelter.

The crisis began on August 25 when an insurgent group of the Rohingya Muslim minority staged a series of attacks on the police and army posts in Rakhine state, to which the Myanmar military responded with an ongoing large-scale offensive.

According to eyewitnesses and human rights organisations, the Myanmar army has razed villages and shot and killed an undetermined number of civilians while clearing the area.

Although Myanmar maintains that the violence was triggered by Rohingya rebels, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has accused the military of ethnic cleansing.

Before the military campaign, an estimated one million Rohingyas lived in in Myanmar, where the government denies them citizenship.

First Published: Mon, October 16 2017. 12:26 IST