Malaysia: Six Rohingya refugees killed, hundreds detained after fleeing

i24NEWS

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Rohingya refugees wait in an area following a boat capsizing accident, in Teknaf on February 11, 2020.
STR / AFPRohingya refugees wait in an area following a boat capsizing accident, in Teknaf on February 11, 2020.

Rohingya constitute 57 percent of all refugees in Malaysia

Six Rohingya refugees, including two women and two children, were killed in Malaysia on Wednesday.

Together with more than 500 other Rohingya refugees, they tried to escape temporary immigration detention in the northern part of the country, Al Jazeera reported. 

“The bodies were thrown all over the highway,” Atan, a local witness, told a local newspaper according to the daily.

“It was a sad scene. Innocent lives were lost just like that." 

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However, the refugees were halted by Malaysian authorities who set up roadblocks and called in police forces to stop them from fleeing, Al Jazeera reported.

On social media, videos showed women and children running alongside the road, and people squatting near the highway after they were arrested by the police. 

The refugees managed to flee the detention center by breaking through barriers and a door, immigration chief Khairul Dzaimee Daud said in a statement, adding that 362 people were arrested by 10:00 on Wednesday.

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Hundreds of thousands Rohingya refugees fled Myanmar after the country's military crackdown in 2017. The country is accused of committing genocide against the Muslim minority, and now under investigation by the International Court of Justice.

An estimated 181,000 people are living as refugees and asylum-seekers in Malaysia, about 57 percent are Rohingya according to the UN refugee agency.

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