TUMBRU, Bangladesh — Days after fleeing their village on the Burma side of the border fence, a group of Rohingya Muslims watched from just inside Bangladesh as yet another house went up in flames.
“You see this fire today,” said Farid Alam, one of the Rohingya who watched the fire burn from about 500 yards away. “That is my village.”
The villagers said they had escaped days ago, crossing into Bangladesh at the border point of Tumbru and joining thousands of other ethnic Rohingya huddling in the open in the district of Bandarban to escape recent violence in Buddhist-majority Burma.
When they crossed the border, they saw land mines that had been newly planted by Burmese forces, Alam said.
Thousands of Rohingya are continuing to stream across the border, with U.N. officials and others demanding that Burma halt what they describe as a campaign of ethnic cleansing that has driven nearly 400,000 Rohingya to flee in the past three weeks.
That number includes an estimated 240,000 children, UNICEF said in Geneva on Friday.
“We had a big house, we are 10 people in the family, but they burned our home,” Alam said as he watched the other house burning Friday. “My father was a village doctor, we had a medical store. We had land and cattle, all are gone.”
Burma is often called Myanmar, a name that military authorities adopted in 1989. Some nations, such as the United States and Britain, have refused to adopt the name change.
Ethnic Rohingya have long faced discrimination in Burma and are denied citizenship, even though many families have lived there for generations.
After a Rohingya insurgent group attacked police posts in Burma’s Rakhine…
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