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33 Rohingya refugees go missing as boat topples in Myanmar river

Thousands of Rohingyas have fled Myanmar in the last two months, and most of them have been trying to enter Bangladesh in rickety boats. (Representative image) Photograph:( Getty )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 05, 2016, 11.49 AM (IST)

A boat with 35 Muslim Rohingya refugees on board capsized in Myanmar's part of the Naf river on Monday morning.

Two of the refugees have been rescued by local fishermen, Bangladesh daily Dhaka Tribune reported.

The refugees were trying to enter Bangladesh, said a survivor named Rehana Begum.

One of the fisherman Suman said he along with other fishermen watched the boat sink and subsequently rescued two people swimming towards the maritime boundary of Bangladesh. The lower half of the Naf river marks the border of Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has deployed its border guards to rescue the missing refugees.

Tens of thousands of Rohingyas have fled Myanmar ever since the army launched a brutal crackdown on them in the restive state of Rakhine.

The impoverished ethnic minority came under intense government scrutiny following coordinated attacks on police border posts in early October. The government suspects the role of Rohingya militias behind the deadly attack.

Muslim Rohingyas have faced persecution and restrictions on movement that many rights activists have likened to apartheid.

People in Myanmar believe the Rohingya are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.