Pope laments "persecutions" of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

No respite’ Myanmar troops force Rohingyas into Bangladesh

In particular, fleeing the clashes, thousands of residents of Raging, mostly women and children, tried to cross the river NAF, which separates Myanmar and Bangladesh the land border.

The government evacuated some 4,000 non-Muslim villagers in the unrest.

Rohingya insurgents attacked police outposts and an army base Friday.

Each of us, no matter how small, "have become living stones of his love, and so we have a place and a mission in the Church", Francis said, explaining that "this is a community of life, made by many stones, all different, which form a single building in a sign of brotherhood and communion".

The crackdown by security forces following the attack has prompted thousands of Rohingyas to flee their homeland for security.

The Foreign Ministry of Bangladesh said Saturday that "thousands of unarmed civilians" from Rakhine state had gathered near its border and were "making attempts to enter Bangladesh".

The treatment of approximately 1.1 million Muslim Rohingya in mainly Buddhist Myanmar has emerged as the biggest challenge for national leader.

So far, the government has reportedly evacuated at least 4,000 villagers, with almost 2,000 Rohingya Muslims, mostly women and children, fleeing across the border to Bangladesh, where they are now living as refugees in makeshift camps along the border.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been accused by Western critics of not speaking out for the long-persecuted Muslim minority.

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Rohingya influx continues

"We are providing food to the people cooperating with the state government and the local authorities", said the minister.

The government and supporters of the Rohingya have traded charges of killing civilians, burning homes down and planting land mines, with the insurgents reported as having killed six people identified as Hindu.

But some 3,000 Rohingya have managed to enter the country and find refuge in camps and villages since Friday, AFP adds. Many Myanmar Buddhists regard them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Myanmar has increased security in western Rakhine state after violence erupted over the weekend, leaving almost 80 insurgents, 12 security officers and six civilians dead, according to state media.

A government statement said that "extremist Bengali insurgents attacked a police station in Maungdaw region in northern Rakhine state with a handmade bomb explosive and held co-ordinated attacks on several police posts at 01:00".

The army and Aung San Suu Kyi's civilian government vehemently deny allegations of widespread abuses, including rapes and murders.

Attacks on police posts last October sparked a wave of deadly "clearance operations" by Myanmar's army and forced some 87,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh.

Myanmar says the group is headed by Rohingya jihadists who were trained overseas but it is unclear how large the network is and they appear to be using homespun weapons in addition to guns seized during their raids.

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