Malaysia ready to provide temporary shelter for Rohingya

Rohingya refugees arrive in Bangladesh after crossing border by boat through the Naf River in Teknaf, Bangladesh, on Thursday. (Reuters photo)

KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia's coast guard will not turn away Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar and is willing to provide temporary shelter for them, the maritime agency's chief said on Friday.

Rohingya insurgents attacked several police posts and an army base in Myanmar on Aug 25. The ensuing clashes and a military counter-offensive has killed at least 400 people and triggered the exodus of more than 160,000 people to neighbouring Bangladesh.

Malaysia, hundreds of km to the south on the Andaman Sea, is likely to see more boat people from Myanmar in coming weeks and months because of the renewed violence, said Zulkifli Abu Bakar, the director general of Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency. Malaysia is already home to over 100,000 Rohingya refugees.

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