Seven Rohingya refugees drown as crossing to Bangladesh ends in grief

COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Four Rohingya Muslims, a man, woman and two children, drowned when a small wooden fishing boat carrying dozens of refugees fleeing ethnic violence in Myanmar capsized off the Bangladesh coast on Tuesday, police said.

Residents of the coastal strip south of the Bangladesh port of Cox's Bazar fished 37 survivors out of the water and 11 have been admitted to hospital in a critical condition, said police officer Mohammad Abul Khair of the area's Ukhiya police station.

The boat had keeled over in choppy seas as rain fell. According to survivors they had paid 50,000 kyat ($37) to be taken to Bangladesh, having abandoned their homes in Buthidaung, in the strife-torn north of Myanmar's Rakhine State.

19 PHOTOS
Tragic scenes from the Bangladesh-Myanmar border
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Tragic scenes from the Bangladesh-Myanmar border
Nur Kabir, 5, a Rohingya refugee boy stands in the rain as he waits to receive permission from the Bangladeshi army to continue his way after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, at a port in Teknaf, Bangladesh, October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A Rohingya refugee woman protects her son from rain as she looks towards the beach after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, at a port in Teknaf, Bangladesh October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People look at a boat that capsized with a group of Rohingya refugees in it at Bailakhali, near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Rohingya refugees, who crossed from Myanmar, walk to a registration centre in Teknaf, Bangladesh, October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Rohingya refugees, who crossed from Myanmar, walk to a registration centre in Teknaf, Bangladesh, October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Lalu Begum, 45, a Rohingya refugee is carried by her son Hasim as they walk towards the registration point after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, at a port in Teknaf, Bangladesh, October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A Rohingya refugee boy, who crossed from Myanmar, walks to a registration centre in Teknaf, Bangladesh, October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A Rohingya refugee girl carries her belongings as she walks towards the registration point after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, at a port in Teknaf, Bangladesh October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
A Rohingya refugee child smiles whilst sheltering from the rain as they wait to receive permission from the Bangladeshi army to continue their way after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, at a port in Teknaf, Bangladesh, October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH Ali Johar, 35, holds the hand of his daughter Minara, 4, who died after a boat with Rohingya refugees fleeing from Myanmar capsized, at a hospital in Shamlapur near Cox?s Bazar, Bangladesh October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi TEMPLATE OUT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH Minara, 4, who died after a boat with Rohingya refugees fleeing from Myanmar capsized, lies in a hospital in Shamlapur near Cox?s Bazar, Bangladesh October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi TEMPLATE OUT
A Rohingya refugee woman holds Fatema Khatun, 20, who is suffering from fever, as they wait to receive permission from the Bangladeshi army to continue their way after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, at a port in Teknaf, Bangladesh October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
A Rohingya refugee boy cries as he waits to receive permission from the Bangladeshi army to continue his way after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, at a port in Teknaf, Bangladesh, October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Rohingya refugees wait to receive permission from the Bangladeshi army to continue their way after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, at a port in Teknaf, Bangladesh, October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH Ali Johar, 35, holds his daughter Minara's, 4, head, who died after a boat with Rohingya refugees fleeing from Myanmar capsized, at a hospital in Shamlapur near Cox?s Bazar, Bangladesh October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi TEMPLATE OUT
A man holds an umbrella as he stands on a boat, which capsized with a group of Rohingya refugees at Bailakhali, near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Rohingya refugees, who were on a boat travelling from Myanmar that capsized at Bailakhali beach, wait to transported to a refugee camp from the beach, near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
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In a separate incident at the southernmost tip of the Cox's Bazar district, three Rohingya infants drowned as they slipped from their mothers' clutches when the boat bringing them from Myanmar reached the Bangladesh shore, police official Main Uddin Khan of the region's Teknaf police station told Reuters.

The babies, aged between three and 10 months, were lost in the waves pounding the beach. The bodies of two were found on Monday evening, and the third on Tuesday.

More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since the military in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar launched a counter-insurgency operation after attacks on security posts by Rohingya militants in late August.

29 PHOTOS
Children impacted by Rohingya crisis in Myanmar
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Children impacted by Rohingya crisis in Myanmar
Rohingya refugees, who crossed the border from Myanmar two days earlier, walk after they received permission from the Bangladesh army to continue their way to the Kutupalong refugee camp, in Balukhali near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh October 19, 2017. REUTERS/ Zohra Bensemra
Rohingya refugee sits with her baby while waiting to receive humanitarian aid after arriving at Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Rohingya refugee baby, who crossed the border from Myanmar two days earlier, sleeps on his mother's shoulder while waiting to receive humanitarian aid after arriving at Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Rohingya refugees, who crossed the border from Myanmar two days earlier, queue to receive humanitarian aid while arriving at Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
A Rohingya refugee girl, who crossed the border from Myanmar two days earlier, waits to receive humanitarian aid at Kutupalong refugee camp, near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh October 19, 2017. REUTERS/ Zohra Bensemra
A Rohingya refugee girl who crossed the border from Myanmar two days before, crawls under a barbed wire during her walk to the Kotupalang refugee camp near Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Rohingya refugees, who crossed the border from Myanmar two days earlier, rest while they wait to receive humanitarian aids at Kutupalong refugees camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Rohingya refugees, who crossed the border from Myanmar two days earlier, rest while they wait to receive humanitarian aids at Kutupalong refugees camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh October 19, 2017. REUTERS/ Zohra Bensemra
A Rohingya refugee boy sits on the ground at Tang Khali refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
A Rohingya refugee girl poses with a chicken at Balukhali refugee camp near Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh October 17, 2017. Picture taken October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Mohamed Hares, an 8-month-old Rohingya refugee, receives treatment for a lung infection at the Red Cross emergency hospital near Kotupalang refugee camp, near Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A still unnamed four-days-old Rohingya refugee baby who crossed the border from Myanmar a day before, waits with his mother to receive permission from the Bangladeshi army to continue their way to the refugee camps, in Palang Khali, Bangladesh October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A Rohingya refugee baby who crossed the border from Myanmar a day before, sleeps with his mother on a field as they wait to receive permission from the Bangladeshi army to continue their way to the refugee camps, in Palang Khali, Bangladesh October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Rohingya refugees who crossed the border from Myanmar a day before, sleep on a field as they wait to receive permission from the Bangladeshi army to continue their way to the refugee camps, in Palang Khali, Bangladesh October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Rohingya refugees arrive to the Bangladeshi side of the Naf river after crossing the border from Myanmar, in Palang Khali, Bangladesh October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Rohingya refugees who fled from Myanmar wait to be let through after they were forced to walk back by Bangladesh border guards, in Palang Khali, Bangladesh October 16, 2017. REUTERS/ Zohra Bensemra
A 7 months old, malnourished Rohingya child cries as she lies on the floor at her family shelter in Kutupalong, refugees camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, October 15, 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Hamida, 65, a Rohingya refugee, who fled from Myanmar a day before, reacts after she along with other newly arrived refugees, spent a night waiting to be allowed to walk to a relief centre in Teknaf, near Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, October 13, 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
A Rohingya refugee girl queues to receive food at a camp near Teknaf, Bangladesh October 12, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Rohingya refugees who crossed the border last night ride on the back of the truck that takes them to a camp near Teknaf, Bangladesh October 12, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
A Rohingya refugee child lines up to receive an oral cholera vaccine, distributed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with the help of volunteers and local NGO's, in a refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh October 11, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
A Rohingya refugee child gets an oral cholera vaccine, distributed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with the help of volunteers and local NGO's, in a refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh October 11, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
A Rohingya refugee child gets an oral cholera vaccine, distributed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with the help of volunteers and local NGO's, in a refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh October 11, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
A daughter of Ansar Ullah, a Rohingya refugee who fled with his family from Myanmar a day before, is carried in a basket by her father after thousands of newly arrived refugees spent a night by the road between refugee camps near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh October 10, 2017. Ansar Ullah, who said his village in Buthidaung region was attacked by Myanmar military, carried his two daughters in baskets for eight days as he and other refugees were making their way to Bangladesh. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Nd Rashid, a 28-year-old Rohingya refugee who fled with his family from Myanmar a day before, waits for medical attention after spending the night by the road between refugee camps near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh October 10, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Rohingya refugees walk in a rice field after crossing the border in Palang Khali, Bangladesh October 9, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
A Rohingya refugee man hols his child as he swims to cross Myanmar-Bangladesh border in Palang Khali, Bangladesh, October 9, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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United Nations officials have described the Myanmar military's action as "ethnic cleansing", an accusation that Myanmar denies.

Around 200 Rohingya refugees have drowned since late August, while making the perilous sea and river crossing to the safety of predominantly Muslim Bangladesh. ($1=1,364.0000 kyat)

(Reporting by Nurul Islam and Ruma Paul in Dhaka; Writing by Simon Cameron-Moore; Editing by Michael Perry and Clarence Fernandez)

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