Thousands of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh to escape military operations that have left scores of people dead and as many as 30,000 displaced.
A senior UN official accused Myanmar on Thursday of seeking to ethnically cleanse the country of its Muslim minority, as Bangladesh stepped up border patrols and summoned the Myanmar ambassador to complain about the exodus.
“Despite our border guards’ sincere effort to prevent the influx, thousands of distressed Myanmar citizens including women, children and elderly people continue to cross the border,” the Bangladeshi foreign ministry said.
“Thousands more have been reported to be gathering at the border crossing.”
The Rohingya are a minority of about a million people who, despite living in the country for generations, are treated as illegal immigrants and denied citizenship. They have been persecuted for years by the government and nationalist Buddhists.
On Tuesday, Bangladesh said it had sent 20 boats carrying …