32 Rohingya die, hundreds rescued from boat after weeks at sea
Teknaf, Bangladesh: Thirty-two Rohingya are believed to have died on an overcrowded boat stranded in the Bay of Bengal for nearly two months, an official said Thursday after hundreds of “starving” people were rescued from the vessel.
The boat had tried to reach Thailand and Malaysia, some of the nearly 400 people rescued from the trawler told the Bangladesh coastguard.
The bodies of the 32 dead were thrown overboard, Lieutenant Shah Zia Rahman told AFP, citing survivor accounts.
Nearly 250 women and children were among those rescued late Wednesday off Bangladesh's southeastern coast.
“They were starving,” Rahman said.
Nearly a million Rohingya live in squalid camps near Bangladesh's border with Myanmar after fleeing a military offensive in 2017. Thousands try every year to reach other countries on crowded rickety boats.
A Rohingya community leader in Bangladesh, who declined to be named, said there were 482 people on board the boat.
That suggests more than 50 people may have perished.
“It made several attempts to land in Malaysia but was turned back. We think several boats carrying Rohingya are still at sea,” he said. - AFP