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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Sami Quadri

At least 20 Rohingya Muslim refugees dead after weeks at sea

Rohingya refugees being rescued by a patrol boat in 2020

(Picture: via REUTERS)

At least 20 Rohingya died at sea while attempting to flee refugee camps in recent weeks, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said.

Dozens of hungry and weak Rohingya Muslims were found on a beach in Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh on Sunday after weeks at sea, officials said.

The group of 58 men arrived on Indrapatra beach at Ladong, a fishing village in Aceh Besar district, said local police chief Rolly Yuiza Away.

Villagers who saw the group on a rickety boat helped them to land then reported their arrival, he said.

"They look very weak from hunger and dehydration. Some of them are sick after a long and severe voyage at sea," said Away.

At least three of the men were rushed to a clinic for medical care, and others are receiving treatment.

The UN and other agencies on Friday urged countries in South Asia to rescue as many as 190 people believed to be Rohingya refugees aboard a small boat adrift for several weeks in the Andaman Sea.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR said in a statement:“Many are women and children, with reports of up to 20 people dying on the unseaworthy vessel during the journey.”

Earlier this month, Sri Lanka’s navy rescued 104 Rohingya, while Thai authorities saved six others who were found clinging to a floating water tank.

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