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130 missing after Rohingya refugee boat sinks

Published on Oct 31, 2012 8:33 PM

DHAKA (AFP) - About 130 passengers are missing after a boat carrying Rohingya refugees sank off the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh, according to Bangladesh police and a Rohingya advocacy group on Wednesday.

Hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya have fled Myanmar in past decades to escape persecution, often heading to neighbouring Bangladesh, and recent unrest has triggered another exodus.

Mr Mohammad Farhad, police inspector of Teknaf on the south-east tip of Bangladesh, told AFP that one survivor from the sinking reported that the boat had about 135 passengers on board.

"The boat was heading to Malaysia illegally," Mr Farhad said, adding that the 24-year-old survivor was being held in custody. "He does not know what happened to the others as it was dark and he was desperate to save his own life."

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