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Barred from Gulf, Bangladeshis risk lives to head south

Bangladeshi villager Habib Ullah holds the national identity card of his son Abdur Rahim, who has been missing since undertaking a journey of migration, in the village of Ramu on the outskirts of Cox's BazarCox’s Bazar (Bangladesh) (AFP) – Denied their traditional route out of poverty in the Gulf and often urged on by relatives, growing numbers of young Bangladeshis are joining the waves of Rohingya trying to reach Southeast Asia on horror boat journeys. As the plight of millions has worsened in Bangladesh in recent years, smugglers organising the perilous sea voyages have grown increasingly sophisticated, keen to cash in on their misery. Scores of men have left their grindingly poor villages throughout the country after the smugglers came calling, promising jobs in more prosperous and Muslim-majority Malaysia, according to officials and elders.

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