At least 66,000 Rohingyas have subsequently fled to Bangladesh, alleging rape, murder and torture at the hands of security forces.
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s Prime Minister on Thursday urged Myanmar to end its crackdown on the Muslim Rohingya minority, warning that Islamist extremists may exploit the crisis.
The plight of the Rohingyas, a stateless group denied citizenship in Myanmar and reviled as illegal immigrants by the majority Buddhist population, has become a lightning rod for anger across the Muslim world.
Since October Myanmar’s Army has carried out “clearance operations” in the north of Rakhine to root out insurgents accused of raids on police border posts.
At least 66,000 Rohingyas have subsequently fled to Bangladesh, alleging rape, murder and torture at the hands of security forces. But Myanmar denies the allegations.
“Far too many people have lost their lives in Myanmar,” said premier Najib Razak, speaking in Kuala Lumpur at the opening of a special meeting of foreign ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
“Many have suffered appalling deaths, and those that have lived through the atrocities have witnessed or endured unspeakable cruelty,” he added.
“For a start, the killing must stop. The violation of women and girls must stop,” he said, adding that “the persecution of your fellow men and women, simply on the grounds that they are Muslim, must stop.”