An unprecedented surge of 2,70,000 Rohingya has sought refuge in Bangladesh over the past two weeks, the UN refugee agency said on Friday, as it announced a dramatic jump in the total as new pockets of people fleeing violence are found.
A rights group said satellite images showed about 450 buildings had been burned down in a Myanmar border town largely inhabited by Rohingya, as part of what the refugees say is a concerted effort to expel members of the Muslim minority.
Vivian Tan, a spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said the estimated number of Rohingya who fled to Bangladesh since violence erupted on Aug. 25 had risen from 1,64,000 on Thursday because aid workers had found big groups of uncounted people.
Human Rights Watch said satellite images taken last Saturday showed hundreds of burned buildings in Maungdaw, capital of Rakhine, in areas primarily inhabited by Rohingya.
Several thousand people held a protest in Dhaka after Friday prayers against the crackdown on the Rohingya. Protests were also held in Indonesia and Malaysia. Scores of people staged protests outside the Myanmar embassies in Tokyo and Manila.