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12 Rohingya Muslim refugees, mostly children, drowned as boat capsized near Bangladesh

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In the past two weeks at least 37 people have died and scores were feared dead after two boats packed with fleeing Rohingya refugees capsized, one in the Naf river and another in the Bay of Bengal. A police spokesman told Reuters that 12 bodies were seized - 10 children, a woman and a man.

The European Union and the United States are considering targeted sanctions against Myanmar military leaders over an offensive that has driven more than 500,000 Rohingya Muslims out of the country, officials familiar with the discussions said.

Thirteen people were rescued by border guards but an estimated 25 are still missing, it added.

He said authorities have banned any Bangladeshi or foreigner from entering the settlements after 5:00 pm.

The chairman of the US bishops' Committee on Migration called on the federal government to work with the Myanmar government and the worldwide community to solve the crisis affecting the persecuted Rohingya people.

The number of Rohingya refugees who have fled to Bangladesh since late August has reached 519,000, an increase by 4,000 over the weekend, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Many under 18 living in makeshift camp at Cox's Bazar highly traumatized after seeing family members killed and home set on fire.

As of 7 October, 519,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh, including 467,800 identified by IOM assessments in the Cox's Bazar area. Myanmar has dismissed allegations of ethnic cleansing by the UN. Villagers, however, say that Rohingya are still attempting to leave and that many are gathered on the beaches just across the water from Bangladesh waiting for a chance to leave the country.

While the worst of the violence appears to have abated, insecurity, food shortages and tensions with Buddhist neighbours are still driving thousands of Rohingya to make the arduous trek to Bangladesh.

Earlier, two bodies were recovered, while eight Rohingyas were rescued.

The UN says more than 600,000 have arrived in the a year ago, swelling camps that were already home to between 300,000 and 400,000 refugees.

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