7 Dec. 2017
Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
Dawn hues of pink and purple reveal a dusty valley in Bangladesh's southern hills quilted with a dense settlement of red tents home to more than 230 women and children grieving for lost husbands and fathers. They are among more than 625,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh since late August, following a crackdown by the Myanmar military in response to attacks on security forces by Rohingya militants. Most Rohingya are stateless and seen as illegal immigrants by Buddhist-majority Myanmar. The United Nations and United States have described the military's actions as ethnic cleansing, and rights groups have accused the security forces of atrocities, including mass rape, arson and killings. Myanmar's government has denied most of the claims, and the army has said its own probe found no evidence of wrongdoing by troops. There are 50 tents and no men in the camp for widows and orphans, the biggest of three sites built with donor funds from Muslim-majority Pakistan in the refugee settlement of Balukhali not far from Bangladesh's resort town of Cox's Bazar. Two makeshift kitchens provide space for cooking in small holes in the ground, a new well is being dug to supplement a water pump, and a big tent serves for prayers. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "ROHINGYA WIDOWS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.