By SM Najmus Sakib
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) - Twenty-four Rohingya refugees have been rescued from being trafficked to Malaysia in the capital Dhaka in Bangladesh, a police official said.
Police also detained four traffickers as well as seized dozens of Bangladeshi passports from the smugglers, Mazedul Islam told the local daily Prothom Alo.
Of the 24 rescued Rohingya refugees, 22 were women aged between 15 and 22, officials said.
Islam said the traffickers have brought the refugees to Dhaka from Cox's Bazar and kept them confined at a house.
Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women, and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).
More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience."
Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.
The UN has also documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- and brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces.
In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity and genocidal intent.