Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh:
At least three people drowned and about 20 others went missing off the Bangladesh coast on Tuesday after a boat carrying Rohingya refugees sank in bad weather, officials said.
The dire situation in Bangladesh’s refugee camps prompts hundreds of people to pay for smugglers out of the country every year.
The fishing trawler departed at dawn and was bound for Malaysia before getting into trouble in the Bay of Bengal, two Coast Guard search boats scrambled to rescue the survivors.
At least three bodies were washed ashore in the coastal town of Halbunia, police said.
“We have recovered the bodies. They are three young Rohingya women, aged between 18 and 20,” police inspector Noor Mohamed told AFP.
Coast Guard station commander Ashiq Ahmed said the ship is believed to be carrying around 65 people after stopping at several coastal towns before launching.
“We have rescued 45 people, including 41 Rohingya refugees and four Bangladeshis,” he told AFP.
“Around 20 people are still missing. Rescue operations are still on,” he said.
The boat sank off the coast of the Cox’s Bazar district, near the site of huge camps that are home to nearly a million Rohingya refugees.
Most arrived in Bangladesh five years ago after a military crackdown in neighboring Myanmar, which is now the subject of an investigation into the genocide at the United Nations’ top court.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)