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U.N. chief concerned by Myanmar civilian deaths, appeals for aid access
August 28, 2017 / 9:08 PM / 23 days ago

U.N. chief concerned by Myanmar civilian deaths, appeals for aid access

A Rohingya boy fishes on a boat in Buthidaung, Myanmar August 28, 2017. RETUERS/Soe Zeya Tun

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is deeply concerned by reports that civilians have been killed during security operations in Myanmar’s Rakhine state and appealed for neighbouring Bangladesh to allow fleeing Rohingya to seek safety, his spokesman said on Monday.

“Many of those fleeing are women and children, some of whom are wounded,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

“(The Secretary-General) calls for humanitarian agencies to be granted unfettered and free access to affected communities in need of assistance and protection. The United Nations stands ready to provide all necessary support to both Myanmar and Bangladesh in that regard,” Dujarric said.

Myanmar security forces intensified operations against Rohingya insurgents on Monday, police and other sources said, following three days of clashes with militants in the worst violence involving Myanmar’s Muslim minority in five years.

In Bangladesh on Monday, border guards tried to push back refugees stranded in no man’s land near the village of Gumdhum. Reuters reporters have heard gun fire from the Myanmar side in the last three days.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Richard Chang

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