12 die as boat carrying Rohingya refugees sinks

AFP

World, Asia

Shortly afterwards, overcome with grief, he collapsed screaming in the middle of the cemetery.

A Rohingya refugee reacts while holding his dead son after crossing the Naf river from Myanmar into Bangladesh in Whaikhyang. (Photo: AFP)

Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh: At least 12 Rohingya refugees, most of them children, drowned and scores more were missing Monday after their overloaded boat capsized in the latest tragedy to strike those fleeing violence in Myanmar.

Authorities in Bangladesh said the boat was carrying between 60 and 100 people when it overturned and sank in rough seas on Sunday night.

The bodies of 10 children, an elderly woman and a man were washed up on Shah Porir Dwip beach in Bangladesh and border guards pulled 13 survivors from the sea, but the fate of the others remains unknown.

Alif Jukhar, a Rohingya refugee who has long lived in Bangladesh, lost nine relatives in the disaster including his mother and father.

“Yesterday I spoke to my parents on the phone and they told me they they would arrive in Shah Porir Dwip tomorrow,” he said as he used his bare hands to bury their bodies.

Shortly afterwards, overcome with grief, he collapsed screaming in the middle of the cemetery.

Around 150 have drowned trying to make the journey in small and rickety fishing boats that coastguards say are woefully inadequate for the rough seas.

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