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Dozens of Rohingya Muslims missing in Myanmar as cyclone looms

Published on May 14, 2013 11:51 PM
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Police officers walk in the rain as they guard a Rohingya internally displaced persons (IDP) camp outside of Sittwe, on May 14, 2013. Rescuers were on Tuesday searching for 58 missing Rohingya Muslims whose boat capsized in western Myanmar as they fled looming cyclone Mahasen. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SITTWE, Myanmar (AFP) - Rescuers were on Tuesday searching for 58 missing Rohingya Muslims whose boat capsized in western Myanmar as they fled a looming cyclone, state media said, as the storm threatened thousands living in makeshift camps.

The boat, which sank after hitting rocks in a coastal waterway on Monday night, was one of seven vessels carrying Rohingya seeking out higher ground from a camp in Pauktaw township in Rakhine state, according to state television.

"The rescue operation is ongoing because 58 people are still missing," it said, adding that 42 people had been rescued.

Cyclone Mahasen has prompted mass evacuations in Rakhine, where about 140,000 people, mainly Rohingya, are living in flimsy tents or makeshift housing after two waves of deadly communal violence between Buddhists and Muslims last year.

 
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