16 Jun 2012

Bangladesh urged to accept refugees

11:34 am on 16 June 2012

The United Nations has urged Bangladesh to accept refugees fleeing fighting between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar (Burma).

About 30,000 are already in camps in Bangladesh from the province of Rakhine. They travelled there by boat on the Naf river which marks the border with Myanmar.

AFP reports Bangladesh has turned back 16 boats since 11 June.

The UNHCR in Geneva says women and children are adrift on boats on the Naf without food or care.

The BBC reports the trouble started after the murder of a Buddhist woman last month, followed by an attack on a bus carrying Muslims which killed 10 people.

Some 29 people have been killed and thousands of homes have been burnt down.

Rioting began on Friday last week in the town of Maung Daw, spreading to the state capital Sittwe and neighbouring villages.

President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency there two days later.