Rohingya refugees flee violence in Myanmar

More than half a million Rohingya refugees have flooded into Bangladesh to flee an offensive by Myanmar’s military that the United Nations has called ‘a textbook example of ethnic cleansing’. The refugee population is expected to swell further, with thousands more Rohingya Muslims said to be making the perilous journey on foot toward the border, or paying smugglers to take them across by water in wooden boats. Hundreds are known to have died trying to escape, and survivors arrive with horrifying accounts of villages burned, women raped, and scores killed in the ‘clearance operations’ by Myanmar’s army and Buddhist mobs that were sparked by militant attacks on security posts in Rakhine state on August 25, 2017. What the Rohingya refugees flee to is a different kind of suffering in sprawling makeshift camps rife with fears of malnutrition, cholera, and other diseases. Aid organizations are struggling to keep pace with the scale of need and the staggering number of them - an estimated 60 percent - who are children arriving alone. Bangladesh, whose acceptance of the refugees has been praised by humanitarian officials for saving lives, has urged the creation of an internationally-recognized ‘safe zone’ where refugees can return, though Rohingya Muslims have long been persecuted in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar. World leaders are still debating how to confront the country and its de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who championed democracy, but now appears unable or unwilling to stop the army’s brutal crackdown.--By Kevin Frayer/Getty Images
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A Rohingya refugee boy cries as he fights his way in the crowd to get food aid from a local NGO at the Balukali refugee camp on Sept. 18, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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Rohingya refugees carry their belongings as they walk through water on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River after fleeing their village in Myanmar, on Sept. 28, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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A Rohingya refugee family rest as they sit on the ground on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River after fleeing Myanmar, on Oct. 2, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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Rohingya refugees line up to get food aid from a local NGO after arriving from Myanmar at the Balukali refugee camp on Sept. 18, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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A Rohingya refugee boy desperate for aid cries as he climbs on a truck distributing aid for a local NGO near the Balukali refugee camp on Sept. 20, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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A Rohingya refugee woman sits exhausted after collapsing on a beach on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River at Shah Porir Dwip after fleeing her village in Myanmar, on Oct. 1. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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A cleric touches the head of a Rohingya refugee woman as she asks for food as they rest in an Islamic school or madrassa after arriving by boat on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River at Shah Porir Dwip on Sept. 22. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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A Rohingya refugee family carries their belongings as they walk on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River after arriving by boat from Myanmar on Oct. 1. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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A Rohingya refugee woman uses a candle to light her tent at the Palongkali refugee camp, on Oct. 1. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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A Rohingya refugee woman is helped from a boat as she arrives exhausted on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River at Shah Porir Dwip after fleeing her village in Myanmar, on Oct. 1. (Kevin Frayer)
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A Rohingya refugee woman suffering from malnutrition and diarrhea lays in the “Rohingya Ward” at Sader Hospital on Oct. 2. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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Rohingya refugees rest in an Islamic school or madrassa after arriving by boat on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River at Shah Porir Dwip after fleeing their villages in Myanmar, on Sept. 22. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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Makeshift shelters are seen at the sprawling Balukali Rohingya refuge camp on Oct. 2. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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Malnourished and suffering from diarrhea, two Rohingya refugee children cry on the floor of a makeshift shelter at the Balukali refugee camp on Sept. 27. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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A Rohingya refugee man who was shot in the back by the Myanmar army is helped by a relative after crossing the border to the Bangladesh side of the Naf River while fleeing Myanmar, on Sept. 24. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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A Rohingya refugee woman is helped from a boat after arriving on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River at night on Sept. 27. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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A Rohingya refugee girl wears a plastic bag as she walks in the monsoon rains at the Palongkali refugee camp on Sept. 19. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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An Islamic cleric leads prayers for 16 Rohingya refugees who died when their boat capsized while fleeing Myanmar Sept. 29. (Kevin Frayer)
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Rohingya refugees build a new mosque at the Balukali Refugee Camp, on Oct. 2. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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A Rohingya refugee boy carries his belongings as he arrives with his family after crossing the Naf River at Shah Porir Dwip on Sept. 21. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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Two Rohingya refugee boys who had their legs broken by the Myanmar army share a bed in the “Rohingya Ward” at Sader Hospital on Oct. 2. (Kevin Frayer)
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Rohingya refugees rest in an Islamic school or madrassa after arriving by boat on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River at Shah Porir Dwip on Sept. 22. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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Rohingya refugees walk in the sprawling Balukali refugee camp, on Oct. 2. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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A Rohingya refugee woman collapses on her bags from exhaustion after arriving on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River from Myanmar on Sept. 25. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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A Rohingya refugee woman is carried by relatives near the border on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River after fleeing Myanmar, on Oct. 2. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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A Rohingya refugee family uses a candle for light as they sit in a makeshift shelter on Sept. 18. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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Rohingya refugees carry their belongings as they walk on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River after fleeing Myanmar, on Oct. 2 (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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Rohingya refugees are seen outside makeshift shelters at the Balukali Refugee Camp on Sept. 25. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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A Rohingya refugee washes at a well at the Palongkali refugee camp on Sept. 26. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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Rohingya refugee boys study the Quran, Islam’s holy book, at a madrassa or religious school on Oct. 2. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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Rohingya refugees carry their belongings on a road as they arrive after fleeing Myanmar to the Palongkali refugee camp on Oct. 2. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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An elderly Rohingya refugees woman sits outside her shelter in the sprawling Balukali refugee camp on Sept. 22. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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Rohingya refugees pray at the site where they are building a new mosque at the sprawling Balukali refugee camp on Sept. 25. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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A Rohingya refugee family reacts as they disembark from a boat after arriving on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River at night from Myanmar on Sept. 26. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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Makeshift shelters are seen at the sprawling Balukali Rohingya refuge camp on Oct. 3. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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Rohingya refugees desperate for aid crowd as food is distributed by a local NGO near the Balukali refugee camp on Sept. 20. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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A Rohingya refugee boy is carried in a basket by a relative after crossing the border on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River while fleeing Myanmar, on Sept. 24. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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A Rohingya refugee woman holds her child as she stands outside her shelter at the sprawling Balukali refugee camp on Sept. 27. (Kevin Frayer)
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