Dead in Ongoing Clashes in Myanmar's Rakhine State

Rohingya people escape fresh gunfire at the Bangladesh Myanmar frontier near Rakhine on Saturday

Rakhine has been hit by clashes between Muslim and Buddhist communities.

Bracing themselves for more violence, thousands of Rohingya - mostly women and children - were trying to cross the Naf River separating Myanmar and Bangladesh and the land border.

Fighting erupted when Rohingya fighters attacked 30 police stations on Friday and clashes continued on Saturday.

He said the military attacks carried out by Myanmar troops were indiscriminate.

"We wish to return to Myanmar if the government provides us nationality and citizenship", said Shafiul Mostafa, another registered Rohingya refugee at Cox's Bazar.

There is a sudden splurge in the number of Rohingyas fleeing to Bangladesh after the blood-shed in the Rakhine State of Myanmar continues, The Daily Star reported.

More than 20 posts were targeted by Muslim militants in pre-dawn raids, the government said, in Rakhine's worst violence for months.

Almost 87,000 Rohingyas migrated into Bangladesh illegally since last October following a crackdown by security forces in Myanmar on the Muslim minorities.

Burma is overwhelmingly Buddhist, but about 1.1 million Muslim Rohingya live in the northern part of Rakhine state, where the violence is taking place.

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

On Saturday, the government directed the local administration to employ its best efforts to restrict the entry of fresh Rohingyas into the country saying not a single person will be allowed in the name of "humanity". An estimated 150 insurgents attempted to storm the base but "soldiers fought back", authorities said.

Bangladesh has provided almost 30,000 Rohingyas with refugee status until 1992 but unofficial estimates suggest more than 500,000 Rohingyas are staying in Bangladesh illegally. "Tensions remain high and they risk becoming worse", Annan said.

"They came with rods and sticks to drive us to the border".

"Sad news has reached us of the persecution of our Rohingya brothers and sisters, a religious minority", the pope said to pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter's Square.

At the no man's land near Gumdhum, dozens of Rohingya women, most wearing burqa, sat cramped under a few black plastic sheets shielding them from the harsh sun.

A total of 89 people, including 12 security personnel, were killed during the violence.

The attacks triggered a military crackdown that led to widespread allegations of killings, rape and torture of Rohingya, and an exodus of Rohingya into Bangladesh.

Pope Francis, who is expected to make a trip to both Myanmar and Bangladesh sometime before Christmas, has spoken out on the behalf of the Rohingya frequently, and their plight - rights included - is likely to be a key talking point during his visit to the Asian nations.

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