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Bangladesh reportedly closes border to refugees from Myanmar violence

Andrew Biraj / Reuters

Rohingyas from Myanmar sit on a jetty by the river Naf after being arrested by Border Guards of Bangladesh while trying to get into the country on Monday.

Refugees from violence in Myanmar are reportedly being prevented from crossing the border into Bangladesh, according to a leading medical charity.

Médecins Sans Frontières – or Doctors Without Borders – said in a statement on its website that it was also “extremely concerned” that victims of recent clashes in Rakhine state are not receiving treatment.

It said it had been forced to suspend its work there because of the fighting that began on June 9.

Fighting breaks out between Muslim and Buddhist groups in Myanmar

“MSF is extremely worried that victims of the clashes are not receiving emergency care, and about the ongoing healthcare needs of our patients,” Joe Belliveau, MSF operations manager, said in the statement.

“Our immediate concerns are to provide emergency medical services, get food and supplies to people, and get our HIV patients their lifesaving treatment,” he added.

Muslims flee burning homes during sectarian violence in Myanmar

“People seeking refuge and in need of food, water and medical care should be allowed to cross the border,” Belliveau said.  “In both Myanmar and Bangladesh, MSF is trying to reach those affected by the violence, but they should also be allowed to reach us.”

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MSF said it had been providing medical services in Rakhine for 20 years, focusing on maternal health and infectious diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. 

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