Dhaka, Jun 12 (bdnews24.com) – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) called on the Bangladesh government on Tuesday to let the Myanmar refugees enter the country who are fleeing sectarian violence in their country.
The country's border watchdog, Border Guard Bangladesh, earlier did not allow at least six boats filled with Myanmar refugees to enter the country.
Violent communal riots between the Muslims and Buddhists had gripped the Rakhaine state since last Friday.
The BBC Bangla quoted UNHCR representative to Bangladesh Craig Sanders as saying that both the neighbouring countries had increased vigilance along their borders to ensure control.
Only a small number of refugees could cross the border and enter Bangladesh, the BBC quoted him as saying.
He said they had requested the Bangladesh government to relax vigilance on their side of the border to let the refugees enter especially those who had been injured while fleeing the violence.
The communal riot erupted in the Rakhaine state following the rape of a Buddhist woman.
Seventeen people have been killed in the violence so far, the BBC Bangla reported.
A state of emergency has been declared in the Western Rakhain state.
Meanwhile, a media statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Bangladesh government has been following recent developments in the neighbouring state.
The statement added that the neighbouring countries were maintaining close consultations to ensure the developments in Myanmar do not touch Bangladesh.
The government has asked the local administration and law enforcing agencies in the country's border area to remain alert and increase their vigilance, the statement said.