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Dhaka refuses entry to people fleeing Myanmar sectarian violence

A Myanmar soldier walks around the burned down Nazi village in Sittwe, Rakhine State, Western Myanmar on June 14. Fires and armed clashes broke out on June 12 in Rakhine where at least 31 people have died.//epa

A Myanmar soldier walks around the burned down Nazi village in Sittwe, Rakhine State, Western Myanmar on June 14. Fires and armed clashes broke out on June 12 in Rakhine where at least 31 people have died.//epa

Dhaka - Bangladesh on Thursday said it would not open itsborder to people fleeing sectarian violence in Myanmar, despiteinternational appeals.



At least 21 people have been killed in clashes between Muslims andBuddhists in Rakhine state, which borders Bangladesh. The violencewas sparked by the rape and murder of a woman on May 28, allegedly bythree Muslims.

The United States and international human rights groups have beencalling on Dhaka to allow entry to those fleeing the violence.

"I will request them to call the Myanmar government for measuresto end its internal crisis if they sincerely want resolution to theproblem," Foreign Minister Dipu Moni told parliament on Thursday.

She called on the organisations to provide direct assistance to Myanmar, where President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency atthe weekend, placing towns in the troubled state under a dusk-to-dawn curfew.

Bangladesh is home to 200,000 Rohingya Muslims who fledpersecution in Rakhine, then called Arakan State, more than twodecades ago, and would host no more, Dipu Moni said.

Authorities recently prevented seven boatloads of Rohingya Muslimsfrom entering Bangladesh, said Mohammad Joynul Bari, chiefadministrator of the Cox’s Bazar border district.


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