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2018 Feature
Refugees Flee Myanmar
Adnan Abidi
Reuters photo staff
Nov. 5, 2017, Bangladesh
Adnan Abidi, Reuters

The assignment left Adnan Abidi shaken. One of seven photographers Reuters sent to cover Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar, he said: "I pray nobody sees this again."
Thousands of desperate refugees slogged through the muddy, waist-deep Naf River into Bangladesh. People carried aging parents and children on their shoulders. One woman fainted and fell on Abidi's feet.
Myanmar's violent 2017 campaign to oust Rohingya militants spurred nearly 700,000 Rohingya -- a mostly Muslim minority group in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar -- to escape to refugee camps in Bangladesh. United Nations officials have called Myanmar's actions ethnic cleansing.
At a camp medical center, Abidi shared tea with a man who said his entire family was killed, except for his son, Mohammed Shoaib, 7. The boy removed his shirt to reveal a jagged scar left by a bullet.
"When you see a child like this, you are just shattered," Abidi said. "What did he do to anybody? He's a harmless young kid. Why did he deserve this?"
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