Leaders of the Rohingya Muslim community in Bangladesh say at least 3,500 members have arrived in the country since Myanmar’s authorities announced a military buildup in the western state of Rakhine about ten days ago.
The Rohingya refugees began to arrive in overcrowded camps in Cox's Bazaar area near the Naf river, which divides Bangladesh and Myanmar, fearing violence in Myanmar after authorities deployed 500 soldiers to the Muslim-majority northern part of Rakhine on August 10, the community leaders said on Wednesday.
Abdul Khaleq, one of the Rohingya leaders, said “some 3,000 Rohingya arrived from their villages in Rakhine” in the Balukali camp “alone.”
The camp is nearest the river, where most of the refugees stay when they first arrive in Bangladesh.
Kamal Hossain, a Rohingya elder in another camp, said about 700 families had crossed into Bangladesh in the past 11 days. He said many of the refugees were sleeping in the open because there was no more space in the camps.