Bangladesh has summoned the ambassador of Myanmar to express “deep concern” at a military operation that has forced thousands of minority Rohingya Muslims to flee border villages.
The foreign ministry said “desperate people” were entering from its neighbour, seeking safety and shelter.
Bangladesh has stepped up border patrols and sent many Rohingya back.
Myanmar denies reports that its soldiers have burned down villages and killed those who return.
In a statement, Bangladesh’s foreign ministry said it had asked Myanmar – formerly known as Burma – to “ensure the integrity of its border” and to stop the influx of people from Rakhine State.
“Despite our border guards’ sincere effort to prevent the influx, thousands of distressed Myanmar citizens including women, children and elderly people continue to cross the border into Bangladesh,” it said.
“Thousands more have been reported to be gathering at the border crossing.”
On Tuesday, Bangladeshi authorities said they had sent 20 boat-loads of Rohingya Muslims – about 150 people – back to Myanmar in an effort to stop the influx.
The Rohingya, who number about one million, are seen by Rakhine’s Buddhist majority as illegal migrants from Bangladesh.
They are denied citizenship by the Myanmar government despite many having lived there for generations.
Bangladesh has also been unwilling to accept them.
Myanmar launched a large security operation last month after nine police officers were killed in attacks on border posts in Maungdaw. Some government officials blamed a militant Rohingya group for the attack.
Courtesy: BBC World