Rohingya militant group warns of 'war' against Myanmar Government; thousands flee clashes

A woman holds a child in her arms as she arrives at Yathae Taung township in Rakhine state after fleeing violence in their home village

The U.N.'s International Organization for Migration said recently that around 87,000 Rohingya had crossed the border and entered Bangladesh since last October, when a new string of violence broke out in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

Thousands more were still attempting to enter on Monday as reports emerged of arson attacks on Rohingya properties across northern Rakhine - fires which the Muslim minority blame on Myanmar security troops, and which the government blames on Arsa which it deems a terrorist organisation.

Thousands of Rohingyas have sought to ford the Naf River and its canals separating Myanmar and Bangladesh and cross the land border.

Nur, the Rohingya leader, said Bangladeshi authorities had asked him and his associates to "discourage" their people in Myanmar from leaving the country. "Without food, shelter and protection, they don't know when we'll be killed". She said gunshots and explosions could be heard and smoke could still be seen Friday evening.

The announcement was the first by the government to list civilians among the dead-six people identified as Hindu said to have been killed by the insurgents.

Thousands of Rohingya have fled towards Bangladesh, but authorities there have refused to let a lot of them in, with an untold number of people - mainly women and children - stranded along the border zone.

The European Rohingya Council (ERC) on Sunday voiced concern over the plight of Rohingya population following the attacks in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

One refugee, Amena Khatun, 31, told CNN that the Myanmar army had shot at her and her companions as they made their escape Sunday.

Despite years of persecution and government restrictions, the Rohingya largely eschewed violence.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which instigated the October attacks and claimed responsibility for the latest offensive, has been declared as a terrorist organisation by Myanmar.

Speaking of the upcoming November visit, Benedict Rogers from Christian Solidarity Worldwide said: "The pope, as a world religious and spiritual leader, has the potential to speak well in this situation" and win the trust of both Buddhist nationalists and members of the Rohingya community. Some have been turned back by Bangladeshi authorities.

The death toll from the violence that erupted on Friday with coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents has climbed to 104, the vast majority militants, plus 12 members of security forces and several civilians, according to a Reuters tally based on official releases.

They have been rendered stateless by the government and the United Nations believes the army's crackdown may amount to ethnic cleansing - a charge the government of Aung San Suu Kyi vehemently denies. "We pray for the Rohingya brothers".

"We appeal the global community to exercise "the Responsibility to Protect" as the Rohingya civilian population plunges into another episode of widespread "crimes against humanity" under the hands of Myanmar Armed Forces", said the body in the statement.

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