DHAKA, Bangladesh – Bangladesh says it has sent back 11 boats packed with about 500 Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in neighboring Myanmar.
A government official in Cox's Bazar district, Mohammad Jainul Bari says border forces have been asked by the central government to not allow any refugees from Myanmar to enter the country.
Bari says at least 500 people aboard 11 wooden boats have tried to enter Bangladesh over the past three days.
Riots between Buddhists and minority Muslims have left at least 12 people dead in Myanmar's Rakhine state since Friday.
The United Nations' refugee agency estimates 800,000 Rohingya live in mountainous Rakhine state. Thousands attempt to flee every year to Bangladesh, Malaysia and elsewhere in the region, trying to escape a life of abuse.