International desk – A Buddhist mob has obstructed a Red Cross boat carrying aid for Rohingya Muslims who have been displaced by conflict in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, media reports said on Thursday.
The mob threw petrol bomb on the boat of the International Committee for Red Cross after police fired warning shots to disperse them.
BBC reported that the boat was bound for the violence-hit north, where a military campaign sparked by militant attacks has forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to flee the country.
An official said the mob thought the aid was only for the Rohingya.
Both Rohingya who have fled across the border into Bangladesh and those who stayed in Rakhine urgently need help, aid agencies say.
The mostly Muslim Rohingya are a minority in Buddhist-majority Rakhine state. Myanmar denies them citizenship, saying they are illegal immigrants, and the state has seen violent ethnic conflict in the past decades.
The latest crisis began on 25 August, when suspected Rohingya militants attacked police posts.
More than 424,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh amid a military crackdown that the UN human rights chief has said “seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
Food, water and shelter are desperately needed for the new arrivals, aid groups say, but there are also serious concerns for those who stayed in Rakhine, where many Rohingya villages have been razed to ground.