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146,000 Rohingyas have crossed into Bangladesh: UN

At least 146,000 Rohingyas have arrived in Bangladesh since August 25, fleeing ongoing violence in northwestern Myanmar, the UN office in Dhaka said on Wednesday.

Robert Watkins, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh, said the figure is 23,000 more than the 123,000 estimated by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday, Efe reports.

Thousands of people continue arriving in southeastern Bangladesh through sea, river and land routes, fleeing an aggressive army offensive in the northwestern Myanmar state of Rakhine.

According to official figures, over 400 people have died so far in the state.

The real figure could be higher as eyewitnesses and human rights organisations have reported indiscriminate firing by the security forces against the local people and torching of entire villages as well as other human rights violations.

The military offensive has been severely criticized by the UN, which has also launched an international petition to raise $18 million to provide humanitarian emergency aid to Bangladesh and other human rights organisations.

More than a million Rohingyas live in Rakhine, where they face growing discrimination following a sectarian conflict in 2012 that killed at least 160 people and displaced nearly 120,000.

Myanmar does not consider the Rohingyas as citizens although they have lived in the country for generations.

An estimated one million Rohingyas live in Rakhine, where the Myanmar Army carried out a similar campaign nine months ago in response to another rebel attack that led to more than 70,000 members of the community fleeing across the border to Bangladesh.

Between 300,000 and 500,000 Rohingyas live in Bangladesh, and only about 32,000 of them have refugee status.

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