AP PHOTOS: A Rohingya boy’s struggle to reach Bangladesh

 In World

AP PHOTOS: A Rohingya boy’s struggle to reach Bangladesh

October 10, 2017
Updated: October 10, 2017 9:04pm

TEKNAF, Bangladesh (AP) — Yosar Hossein struggles as he walks along muddy paths and flooded creeks in Bangladesh, carrying his baby sister on his back. Barefoot and still wearing his school uniform, the 7-year-old is among more than a half million Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in neighboring Myanmar.

Nearly two-thirds are children.

“She is very heavy,” says Yosar, who in the last two weeks has lost his father, his house and his country. “I don’t think I can carry her all the way.”

The exodus from predominantly Buddhist Myanmar is the biggest the region has seen in decades, leaving this corner of Bangladesh overrun with tent cities of desperate refugees. It began Aug. 25, when the military responded to attacks by Rohingya militants with a brutal crackdown on members the Muslim minority. Soldiers and Buddhist mobs started killing, looting and burning down village after village.

Yosar’s mother, Firoza Begum, says their home in Rathedaung township was attacked just before dawn two weeks ago. They heard loud bangs and watched as flames swallowed almost everything they owned.

Yosar’s dad didn’t make it out, Begum says. He was shot dead as they tried to flee. But his mom and three younger siblings managed to escape. They walked for six days, together with two aunts and several cousins, eating whatever they could find, resting very little, until they reached the shore of the mighty Naf River.

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