DHAKA: Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Bangladesh on Friday to protest the killing of Rohingya Muslims in neighbouring Myanmar, police said.
At least 15,000 supporters of the Islami Andolon Bangladesh party chanted slogans against Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi as they demonstrated in Dhaka and the town of Tongi to the north of the capital after Friday prayers.
“Myanmar army is carrying out a genocide of the Rohingya with the help of Suu Kyi’s government. She must be held accountable and tried,” said party spokesman K.M. Atiqur Rahman.
Earlier, several thousand supporters of Bangladesh’s main opposition political party formed a human chain to protest the treatment of Myanmar’s Rohingya minority.
The UN says 270,000 Rohingya have arrived in Muslim-majority Bangladesh in the last fortnight after fleeing Myanmar, where refugees say their villages have been burned to the ground and relatives killed by the army.
Images purportedly showing atrocities against the Rohingya have flooded Bangladeshi social media, triggering an outpouring of sympathy among locals, who have historical ties with the community.
Dhaka has protested what it called an “unprecedented influx” of Rohingya since the latest violence erupted on August 25.
In the past two weeks, the Bangladesh government has twice summoned the Myanmar envoy to express its concern over the escalation of violence.
It says the arrivals represent an “unbearable additional burden” on the poor country, already home to 400,000 Rohingya before the latest influx.