Almost 40% of all Rohingya villages in Myanmar’s Rakhine State are now empty, a government spokesperson has confirmed.
More than 370,000 Rohingya — many of them women and children — have fled to Bangladesh to escape violence since August 25, according to the United Nations, an average of almost 20,000 a day. The refugees speak of indiscriminate clearance operations, huts set on fire and family members being taken away and never heard from again.
Who are the Rohingya and why are they fleeing?
Zaw Htay, a spokesman for Myanmar’s Presidential Office, said the reason people abandoned their homes was because many were told to leave by family members who were involved in terrorist activities.