Rohingya refugees look on as a boatman counts money after crossing the Naf river from Myanmar into Bangladesh in Whaikhyang on October 9, 2017. AFP / INDRANIL MUKHERJEE
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Thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar fled to Bangladesh on Monday in a new surge of refugees driven by fears of starvation and violence the United Nations has denounced as ethnic cleansing.About 519,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since Aug. 25, when attacks by Rohingya militants on security posts in Rakhine sparked a ferocious military response.Refugees and rights groups say the army and Buddhist vigilantes have engaged in a campaign of killing and arson aimed at driving the Rohingya out of Myanmar.Myanmar rejects accusations of ethnic cleansing and has labelled the militants from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army who launched the initial attacks as terrorists who have killed civilians and burnt villages.The Myanmar government has said its "clearance operations" against the militants ended in early September and people had no reason to flee.Mostly Buddhist Myanmar does not recognise the Rohingya as citizens, even though many have lived there for generations.Myanmar has responded by saying it will take back those who can be verified as genuine refugees.
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