11 Rohingyas use plastic jars to cross Naf

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Eleven Rohingya men, who were using plastic jars to swim across the Naf river, have been rescued from near Shah Porir Dwip in Cox’s Bazar.

Coastguards spotted the men around 11am Wednesday while they were crossing the river that separates Bangladesh’s Teknaf from Maungdaw in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

“The Rohingya men were relying on the jars to keep them afloat. They crossed the zero points and entered Bangladesh’s waters. Members of the coastguard then brought them to shore,” said Lt Commander Jafar Imam Sajib, in-charge for the coastguards station at Shah Porir Dwip.

The men said they are residents of villages that surround Maungdaw township of Rakhine where the Myanmar army has been launching a ruthless campaign against the Muslim minorities, forcing more than half a million to flee across the border to Bangladesh.

“Myanmar authorities are continuing their violence against the Rohingyas. These men told us soldiers and locals have been attacking homes in Rohingya villages surrounding Maungdaw,” said the coastguard official.

The men, some of whom are teenagers, have been handed over to the Border Guard Bangladesh who were making arrangements to send them to the Balukhali camp, he said.