14 bodies of Rohingyas wash up on beach in Myanmar: Rescue group
The bodies of 14 people have been found washed up on a beach in Myanmar, police told AFP on Monday, with a local rescue group saying some were Rohingya attempting to reach Malaysia.
The migrants had been travelling by boat from western Myanmar, according to a local Rohingya activist.
"Fourteen dead bodies were found, 35 people including the boat owners were rescued alive," said Lieutenant Colonel Tun Shwe, a police spokesperson in Pathein district, around 200km west of Yangon.
A member of Myanmar Rescue Organization Pathein who requested anonymity said the group found eight bodies on Sunday and all were from the Rohingya minority.
A local Rohingya activist told AFP that 12 women and two boys had died.
Their boat had been carrying people from the towns of Buthidaung, Maungdaw, and Sittwe in Myanmar's Rakhine state, the activist added, also requesting anonymity.
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled Buddhist-majority Myanmar since 2017 after a military crackdown that refugees said included mass killings and rape.
Those Rohingya still in Myanmar are widely seen as interlopers from Bangladesh and are denied citizenship, many rights and access to services.
Each year hundreds of Rohingya make perilous, months-long journeys by sea to other parts of Southeast Asia.
Relatively affluent Malaysia is usually the favoured destination, but they also often end up in Indonesia.