BANGKOK – The Latest on violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state and the resulting flood of ethnic Rohingya refugees into neighboring Bangladesh (all times local):
Turkish officials say President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has discussed the violence affecting the Rohingya Muslim minority with Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and said the issue was causing deep concern globally and especially in the Muslim world.
Officials at Erdogan’s office in Ankara said Tuesday that the Turkish leader told Suu Kyi in a telephone call that disproportionate use of force against the minority group should be avoided, and maximum care should be taken to avoid harming civilians.
The officials also said Erdogan condemned terrorist attacks targeting civilians.
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will travel to Bangladesh on Wednesday to discuss the situation of Rohingya refugees there, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. Cavusoglu would also visit a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, it said.
The U.N. refugee agency says some 123,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh since violence erupted in Myanmar on Aug. 25.
UNHCR spokeswoman Vivian Tan said Tuesday that the latest number is a result of aid workers conducting new, more accurate counts in both established and makeshift refugee camps.
On Monday, the agency had estimated 87,000 refugees had crossed the swampy border in the days since Rohingya insurgents attacked Myanmar police posts, prompting security forces to launch “clearance operations” in response.
Tan said “the numbers are very worrying. They are going up very quickly.” The older, established refugee camps for Rohingya have already reached capacity, and thousands were struggling to find shelter.