Medical assistance charity Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) have put the Rohingya death toll in Myanmar at 6,700 people.
Surveys conducted in refugee settlement camps in Bangladesh estimated that 9,000 were killed in Rakhine state between 25 August and 24 September, 2017.
Since just 71.7% of those deaths were caused by violence, the estimated death toll was rounded down to 6,700, including at least 730 children aged 5 and under.
MSF said it is likely the number is, however, an underestimation because of challenges in accessing all settlements and the fact surveys down account for families who didn’t make it to Bangladesh.
MSF medical director Dr Sidney Wong said: “We heard reports of entire families who perished after they were locked inside their homes, while they were set alight.”
MSF reported the figure in a press release published on Thursday. In it, the charity said that their surveys show that the Rohingya have been targeted, and are the clearest indication yet of the widespread violence that started on August 25 when the Myanmar military, police and local militias launched the latest ‘clearance operations’ in Rakhine in response to attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.
“Since then, more than 647,000 Rohingya have fled from Myanmar into Bangladesh,” MSF said.
Overall, gunshots were the cause of death in 69% of the violence-related deaths, followed by being burnt to death in their houses (9%) and beaten to death (5%). Among children below the age of 5 years, more than 59% killed during that period were reportedly shot, 15% burnt to death in their home, 7% beaten to death and 2% died due to landmine blasts.
“We met and spoke with survivors of violence in Myanmar, who are now sheltering in overcrowded and unsanitary camps in Bangladesh. What we uncovered was staggering, both in terms of the numbers of people who reported a family member died as a result of violence, and the horrific ways in which they said they were killed or severely injured,” the MSF statement read.