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. The Bangladesh coast guard said that other survivors had told them that 32 people died on board and their bodies dumped in the sea, and that the boat had tried to enter Malaysia and Thailand. Bangladesh media reports quoted one of those on board as saying the boat was denied entry by Malaysia because of stricter controls due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since late last year, Bangladesh's law enforcement agencies have picked up some 1,000 Rohingya from coastal villages and boats as they waited to board vessels bound for Malaysia. Nearly a million Rohingya live in squalid camps near Bangladesh's border with Myanmar after fleeing a military offensive in 2017.

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Only a few of those rescued had refugee cards from the camps and many had boarded in Arakan in Myanmar's Rakhine state, said Hamidul Islam, another coast guard officer. His account was echoed by Anwar Alam, another survivor, who said the ordeal lasted two months and 18 days. Both said that the captain of the fishing trawler, carrying over 500 men, women and children, was also killed in a fight with those on board. At least 60 of us died in the boat. Admiral Mohamad Zubil Mat Som, director-general of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, declined to comment on the reports. Survivor Anwarul Islam said that after the ship was denied entry by both Malaysia and Thailand it headed back to Bangladesh where they were picked up by the coastguard late on Wednesday. Many of us died in the heat and sweat.

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60 Rohingya Die and Hundreds Rescued from Boat after Weeks at Sea

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That suggests more than 50 people may have perished. But he said the maritime border was being strengthened. Thousands try every year to reach other countries on crowded rickety boats. . .

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