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A Perilous Journey For Refugees From Burma

Muslim refugees fleeing ethnic and sectarian violence in western Burma have been making their way by boat to neighboring Bangladesh, only to be detained and turned back by Bangladeshi border guards. Earlier this week, Radio Free Asia reported from the area on the refugees' harrowing ordeal.

The Muslim Rohingya refugees from Burma attempt to get into neighboring Bangladesh by crossing the wide estuary of the Naf River, which marks the border between the two countries.  
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The Muslim Rohingya refugees from Burma attempt to get into neighboring Bangladesh by crossing the wide estuary of the Naf River, which marks the border between the two countries.

 

Crossing the river in wooden boats, the refugees are fleeing sectarian violence in western Burma.
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Crossing the river in wooden boats, the refugees are fleeing sectarian violence in western Burma.

A group of 128 Rohingya people, mostly young men, on nine small boats are intercepted by Bangladeshi border guards.
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A group of 128 Rohingya people, mostly young men, on nine small boats are intercepted by Bangladeshi border guards.

The refugees arrived in the town of Teknaf in the southernmost part of mainland Bangladesh.
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The refugees arrived in the town of Teknaf in the southernmost part of mainland Bangladesh.

They were detained on a boat and watched over by the border guards.
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They were detained on a boat and watched over by the border guards.

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The Rohingyas have been described by the UN as one of the world's most-persecuted minorities.
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The Rohingyas have been described by the UN as one of the world's most-persecuted minorities.

While the journey was fraught with danger, the refugees said they had no choice as their homes and mosques were being burned down in western Burma.
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While the journey was fraught with danger, the refugees said they had no choice as their homes and mosques were being burned down in western Burma.

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After being detained by the border guards, the refugees are fed, given water, and sent back to sea.
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After being detained by the border guards, the refugees are fed, given water, and sent back to sea.

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