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United Nations aid agencies back on "full alert" amid new Myanmar refugee exodus

United Nations aid agencies back on

At least eight Tunisians drowned and around 20 others were missing when their boat collided with a Tunisian naval vessel, Reuters reported.

Villagers at Shah Porir Dwip where the boats mostly land told AFP the Rohingya were increasingly travelling at night to avoid strict border patrols in Bangladesh, making the journey even more risky.

More than 11,000 people crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar's violence-torn Rakhine State in one day, the United Nations refugee agency said.

The new arrivals on October 10 brought the number of Rohingya refugees entering Bangladesh in recent weeks to 520,000.

Almost 520,000 Rohingya Muslims have now entered Bangladesh since deadly Rohingya militant raids on Myanmar police posts on 25 August prompted a brutal military backlash.

The mainly Muslim minority are widely disliked in Buddhist-majority Myanmar and are denied citizenship.

Sixty Rohingya Muslims died last month in another boat capsize. But even as refugees arrive, Bangladesh insists they will all have to go home. In 1982, a controversial law stripped citizenship from the Rohingya, officially making them stateless.

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The family had walked for several days from Buthidaung to reach the riverbank, where hundreds more Rohingya were waiting to escape.

More than 10,000 cases of diarrhoea have been diagnosed over the last week, the World Health Organization said, with concern rising that cases of cholera - a virulent form of diarrhoea that can kill within 36 hours - may also be on the rise.

"We deeply regret the reaction from global countries based on the news without truth", said the lawmaker.

He said some 40 people in the boat were adult Rohingya Muslims fleeing their villages in Rakhine.

The UN says more than 600,000 have arrived in the previous year, swelling camps that were already home to between 300,000 and 400,000 refugees.

Dhaka had then said it would urge the global community for a verification process supervised by the UN.

Amid mounting worldwide pressure, Myanmar's de-facto leader Aung Sun Suu Kyi addressed the parliament on Sep 19, when she said they were ready to take back "verified refugees" in line with a deal signed in 1992.

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