Almost 300 Rohingya villages torched in Myanmar: HRW

Women with child looking into camera at Camp Cox's Bazar

Even if the claim, by Myanmar, that Muslim insurgents had provoked the military operation through attacks on a number of police posts, there can be no excuse for the commission of the barbaric crimes against innocent civilians. The UN says 536,000 mainly Rohingya refugees have arrived from Myanmar's strife-torn Rakhine state since August 25, the majority of them children.

Wells said that given that dozens of villages across northern Rakhine state have been targeted in a similar fashion, the death toll could be much higher.

"We're extraordinarily concerned by what is happening with Rohingya in Burma", Tillerson said.

This was repeated in "in dozens of villages across Maungdaw, Rathedaung, and Buthidaung townships".

Witnesses and a drone video shot Monday by the United Nations refugee agency show that Rohingya are continuing to flee persecution in Myanmar and crossing into Bangladesh.

Myanmar authorities have rejected widespread global criticism that their security forces targeted Rohingya civilians in atrocities such as killings, rapes and the burning of villages.

The body said it documented murder, deportation and forcible displacement, torture, rape and other sexual violence, persecution and other inhumane acts such as denying food and other life-saving provisions, which are all considered crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.

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He said satellite imagery, corroborated by witness accounts, show that Rohingya homes and mosques have been burned entirely in villages, while non-Rohingya areas just one or two hundred metres away were untouched.

A Rohingya refugee girl poses with a chicken at Balukhali refugee camp near Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, on Tuesday.

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Tuesday that without immediate additional funding, the agency will not be able to continue providing lifesaving aid and protection to Rohingya children who have fled horrific violence in Myanmar.

Almost 14,000 children who have lost one or both parents are among the more than half a million Rohingya refugees who crossed in Bangladesh to escape violence in Myanmar, an official said today.

More than 580,000 refugees have arrived in Bangladesh since August 25, when Myanmar security forces began a scorched-earth campaign against Rohingya villages.

"We had been nearly starving, along with our kids, for a long time", refugee Md Islam, 45, a resident of a village in Buthidaung township told BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.

"Malaysia believes that the Rohingya humanitarian crisis needs to be settled through regional cooperation, especially among ASEAN countries", he added, according to Malaysia's Star newspaper.

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