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Corpses of trafficking victims wash to Myanmar shore: advocacy group

Ethnic Rohingya refugees from Myanmar residing in Malaysia hold placards during a rally over the current Rohingya crisis at a hall in Ampang, in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur on June 3, 2015. A boat with more than 700 migrants being escorted by Myanmar's navy towards its western state of Rakhine is expected to reach land on June 3, according to a senior US official who demanded they be treated "humanely".
Ethnic Rohingya refugees from Myanmar residing in Malaysia hold placards during a rally over the current Rohingya crisis at a hall in Ampang, in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur on June 3, 2015. A boat with more than 700 migrants being escorted by Myanmar's navy towards its western state of Rakhine is expected to reach land on June 3, according to a senior US official who demanded they be treated "humanely". MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images

YANGON, Myanmar – An advocacy group says dozens of decomposed corpses have washed to shore in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine in the last month.

Chris Lewa of the Arakan Project, which has been monitoring activities in the isolated, northern tip of Rakhine for more than a decade, said Wednesday 47 bodies washed up on beaches from May 12-24.

Some were believed to be Rohingya Muslims trying to escape trafficking ships parked off the western coast, while many more were Bangladeshi.

Myanmar presidential spokesman Ye Htut and other officials were in meetings Wednesday and could not immediately be reached for comment.

Rakhine’s chief minister, Maung Maung Ohn, had no word on the bodies, but said his office was checking into the report.

Lewa believes most victims drowned while trying to swim to shore.

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