14,000 lone children among Rohingya refugees

COX’S BAZAR: Nearly 14,000 children who have lost one or both parents are among the more than half a million Rohingya refugees who crossed in Bangladesh to escape violence in Myanmar, an official said on Sunday.
The UN says 536,000 mainly Rohingya refugees have arrived from Myanmar’s strife-torn Rakhine state since August 25, the majority of them children.
Bangladesh’s social services department said 13,751 children without a parent or parents were identified in a survey of the crowded refugee camps along its border, where charities warn that a humanitarian crisis is unfolding.
“The majority of them said they lost one or both parents in the violence in Rakhine,” Pritam Kumar Chowdhury, a department deputy director, said.
“Others said they didn’t know what happened to their parents, and they came to Bangladesh with relatives.”
The UN has described the violence in Rakhine as a textbook case of ethnic cleansing, with displaced Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh describing whole villages being razed, gang rapes and massacres.
Those who survived and fled to Bangladesh include an estimated 320,000 children, one-third of whom are under five years of age.
Security at India border: Bangladesh has tightened security along its western border with India amid concern that hundreds of Rohingya refugees could be pushed into its territory, officials said on Sunday. Patrols have been stepped up along the frontier with India’s West Bengal state, where border guards say they have been ordered in recent weeks to steer Rohingya into Bangladesh. — AFP