KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian authorities have given a Muslim burial to 21 human trafficking victims, believed to be Rohingya Muslim refugees, found in shallow graves in jungles bordering Thailand.
The 21 were among 106 bodies found last month in jungles in northern Kedah state, a remote area bordering Thailand that trafficking syndicates used as a transit point to hold migrants and refugees. Most were believed to be from Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya minority and impoverished migrants from Bangladesh.
Kedah Chief Minister Mukhriz Mahathir says investigations showed the victims died of starvation and illness.
He said Monday the bodies of 19 men were placed in simple wooden coffins each and buried together in a huge grave, while the bodies of two women were laid to rest in an adjacent grave in a village cemetery.