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Hasina warns of possible terrorist threat from Mynmarese refugees

Hasina warns of possible terrorist threat from Mynmarese refugees

London: Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has warned of possible terrorist connections among thousands of Muslim refugees trying to enter her country from neighbouring Myanmar.

In an interview with the Sunday Express, Hasina said that her government had passed on concerns about a number of unidentified "incidents" to the authorities in Myanmar where there have been clashes between Buddhists and Muslims.

The recent fighting, which has seen dozens killed, has been taking place in the western Myanmarese state of Rakhine. Thousands of Rohingyas, described by the UN as a persecuted Islamic minority group in Myanmar, have tried to flee to Bangaldesh.

Hasina's Awami League government has been turning them away at the border, angering campaign groups Human Rights Watch and Amnesty.

She, however, told the Sunday Express that the international community should investigate why so many were fleeing.

"As for refugees, we have a large number trying to get into our country, which is already over-populated. How many can we take it? We don't want any refugees coming to Bangladesh.

"The international community should try and find out why these refugees want to come," she said.

Asked if she was concerned that Jamaat-e-Islami could be encouraging some refugees, she said: "We have some intelligence reports about it.

"We are trying to find out the reality."

The Bangladeshi prime minister, who attended late Friday night's Olympic opening ceremony, also praised Britain and Scotland Yard for helping in the fight against terrorism.

Hasina met British Foreign Secretary William Hague earlier Saturday to discuss the situation.


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