India saddened over violence and terrorist attack in Myanmar

Displaced Rakhine ethnic people from Maungdaw township arrive at the Sittwe port Sittwe Rakhine State western Myanmar on Saturday

Pope Francis went on to say, "Let us pray for our Rohingya brethren".

Around 2,000 people have been able to cross into Bangladesh since Friday, according to estimates by Rohingya refugees living in the makeshift camps in Bangladesh.

Pope Francis' appeal Sunday follows fighting between the Rohingya and the regular Burmese army on Friday in the city of Maungdaw, which are reported to be the worst since October of previous year, and have prompted evacuations from the area of government personnel and of non-Muslims. The Rohingyas were returned with a "humane" approach, said Cox's Bazar deputy commissioner Ali Hossain, adding that Bangladesh was unable to offer them refuge as "we are already overburdened with thousands of Rohingyas who caused us massive social, economic and environmental problems".

"They have fired on civilians, mostly women and children, hiding in the hills near the zero line", Border Guard Bangladesh's (BGB) station chief Manzurul Hassan Khan confirmed.

Hundreds of men from the persecuted group appear to have organised under the banner of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which claims to be leading the insurgency that has scorched the area since October past year.

In desperate scenes, numerous Rohingya displaced on Friday have been left without shelter in no-man's land between the two countries, or forced to return to villages enveloped by clashes between militants and security forces.

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This photo, taken on December 25, 2016, shows Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar who tried to cross the Naf River into Bangladesh.

- Pope Francis is decrying persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and praying they receive "full rights". Almost 100 people are officially reported dead in the ongoing clashes, including 80 Rohingya insurgents and 12 members of the Burmese security forces deployed in the theatre.

Maungdaw resident Nay Myo Lin, 27, told Reuters by telephone that security forces opened fire on scores of what appeared to be Muslim men with guns near the monastery. Many were stranded in their villages located in Muslim-majority areas as clashes continued and some roads had been mined, residents said. "The price of commodities is rising day by day", a local journalist from Maungdaw town said on Sunday. The official stance of the Myanmar government, however, has been that the Rohingyas are mainly illegal immigrants who migrated into Arakan following Burmese independence in 1948 or after the Bangladesh liberation war in 1971.

A number of Rohingya men ran to the unoccupied area between the two countries after several gun shots rang out on the Myanmar side.

The government used a militant attack on border guards back in October 2016 as a pretext to enforce the blockade on Rakhine.

The ARSA, which was previously called Harakah al-Yaqin launched its first attack in October, warning that more attacks would take place.

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