COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladeshi authorities summoned Myanmar’s envoy to protest what they said were violations of their airspace amid an exodus of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in western Myanmar.
Myanmar’s presidential spokesman on Saturday said there’s no evidence of any trespassing and that Dhaka should have reached out to discuss its concerns instead of issuing public statements.
The Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday that Myanmar drones and helicopters flew into Bangladeshi airspace on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. It said a protest note was handed to Myanmar’s envoy Friday evening. Bangladesh warned that the “provocative acts” could lead to consequences.
In Yangon, presidential spokesman Zaw Htay said that while Myanmar’s military denied crossing into Bangladesh’s airspace, the matter was being investigated. “We don’t know exactly if they released that statement for political reasons,” he said of Bangladesh’s protest.
He added that Myanmar was “transporting rations for displaced people for emergency assistance” to areas close to the border and that Bangladesh “needs to understand that as well.”
An exodus of up to 400,000 Rohingya Muslims began Aug. 25 when Myanmar’s military launched “clearance operations” in Rakhine state following deadly Aug. 25 attacks by a Rohingya insurgent group on police posts. Those fleeing have described as indiscriminate attacks by security forces and Buddhist mobs.
The Myanmar government says hundreds have died, mostly Rohingya “terrorists,” and that 176 out of 471 Rohingya…
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