World Bulletin / News Desk
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has ordered $50 million in aid be sent to a Muslim minority in Myanmar which a human rights group said has been targeted by the authorities since sectarian riots in June.
A report on the Saudi state news agency said the Rohingya community had been "exposed to many violations of human rights including ethnic cleansing, murder, rape and forced displacement".
"King Abdullah ... has ordered that assistance of the amount of $50 million be provided to the Rohingya Muslim citizens in Myanmar," said the report which was carried by Saudi media on Sunday.
However, Human Rights Watch said on Aug. 1 that the Rohingyas had suffered mass arrests, killings and rapes at the hands of the Myanmar security forces. The minority had borne the brunt of a crackdown after days of arson and machete attacks in June by both Buddhists and Rohingyas in Rakhine state, the monitoring group said.
Myanmar, where at least 800,000 Rohingyas are not recognised as one of the country's many ethnic and religious groups, has said it exercised "maximum restraint" in quelling the riots.
Last week the Saudi cabinet condemned the violence against Muslims in northwest Myanmar and at a meeting on July 31, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the kingdom's second city of Jeddah urged members to send Rohingya Muslims aid.
The OIC is holding a summit in Mecca on Tuesday.
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The GCC was formed in the wake of Iran's 1979 revolution and includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.
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But his visit comes as Al-Azhar, which runs one of the world's oldest universities, is under fire from critics within Egypt who say the Muslim institution has itself become part of the problem.
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