50 Muslim refugees missing in Arakan

(Pauk Taw, 15 May 2013):  Over 50 Muslim refugees from Nget Chaug refugee camp in Pauk Taw Township, few miles east of  Sittwe are being reported missing as a machine boat carrying them capsized on Monday night.

Refugee-in-MyanmarThe machine boat, carrying around 120 passengers was used for evacuating people following the warning of cyclone Mahasen that may hit the
Arakan coast. The incident took place at around 12 mid night.

“They came to our village by six machine boats during night. When they arrived in Taung Oo point, one machine boat hit a rock and drowned.
Till now eight bodies have been recovered, where as more than 25 survived,” informed a Muslim resident from Anuk Ray village.

The Muslims hailing from five villages from the area are taking shelter in temporary refugee camps at Nget Chaung after the sectarian violence broke out in many parts of Burma last year.

U Thet Tun Aung, a Arakan state lawmaker from the township, confirmed the news about the boat capsizing and apprehended that over 50 people might have drowned. He also added that the incident took place after the refugees were evacuated to Anuk Ray Muslim village from the refugee camp by themselves.

A group of government officials led by Arakan state power minister U Tha Lu Chay is now arriving in the location to carry out necessary measures for rescue and rehabilitation of the victim families, added the villager.