Myanmar Makes Fleeing Difficult For The Rohingya By Planting Landmines

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A Rohingya Muslim woman had her leg blown off shortly after a boy suffered the same fate while trying to approach the Myanmar border with Bangladesh.

Rohingya woman cries while talking to someone over the phone.

The plight of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar is far from over.

As officials in Myanmar, or Burma as it's also known, continue to close in on the persecuted minority, they have been placing landmines at its border with Bangladesh.

Recently, a Rohingya woman lost her leg as she attempted to make an escape to the neighboring country, having her leg blown off by one of Myanmar's landmines.

But she wasn't the only one. Earlier this week, The Independent reports, a boy also had his leg blown off as he neared a border crossing, while a second boy suffered minor injuries. The severely injured boy got treatment in Bangladesh.

According to a government source, Myanmar officials were placing the landmines by its border in order to prevent Rohingya Muslims from returning from Bangladesh.

In the past two weeks, about 164,000 Rohingya were forced to flee into Bangladesh after Myanmar officials and Buddhist mobs launched attacks against them, burning their homes, stabbing them, ordering them to leave their villages, and killing them. The wave of violence allegedly followed reports of Rohingya insurgents attacking Myanmar police posts in several villages.

According to official Myanmar sources, nearly 400 people described as “insurgents” had been killed in clashes with the country's troops. Myanmar also claims these insurgents were the ones setting villages on fire, but officials are unable to provide evidence to back their claims.

Ever since the waves of attacks against Rohingya Muslims started in 2012, aid agencies haven't been able to assess how many are left in the northern Rakhine state.

And while Myanmar refers to the most persecuted minority in the world as Bengalis, many of the Rohingya Muslim families that live in Rakhine have been in the country for generations. Because Myanmar won't recognize them, the Rohingya are not granted citizenship rights and protections.

It's terrifying to think more people will continue to be victims of these landmines while others will die long before they make the border simply because of their ethnicity. And as Myanmar slaughters its Rohingya minority, the world watches — in silence.

Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters

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