Rohingya migrants stand and sit on a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea between Thailand and Malaysia on May 14, 2015.
Rohingya migrants stand and sit on a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea between Thailand and Malaysia on May 14, 2015.Christophe Archambault—AFP/Getty Images
Rohingya migrants stand and sit on a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea between Thailand and Malaysia on May 14, 2015.
Rohingya migrants swim to collect food supplies dropped by a Thai army helicopter after they jumped from a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea on May 14, 2015.
Rohingya migrants collect food supplies dropped by a Thai army helicopter after jumping from a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea on May 14, 2015.
Rohingya migrants pass food supplies dropped by a Thai army helicopter to others aboard a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea on May 14, 2015.
A Rohingya migrant eats food dropped by a Thai army helicopter after he jumped to collect the supplies at sea from a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea on May 14, 2015.
Rohingya migrants sit on a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea on May 14, 2015.
Rohingya migrants stand and sit on a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea
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Christophe Archambault—AFP/Getty Images
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The Exodus of Rohingya Muslims

May 14, 2015

Hundreds of Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Burma were spotted in the Andaman sea on Thursday as the exodus has fueled an intensifying migrant crisis.

At least 6,000 migrants from Burma and Bangladesh are believed to be at sea, and neighboring countries have become increasingly reluctant to take responsibility for them.

Earlier this week, more than 1,500 refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh landed ashore in Indonesia and Malaysia, but both countries say they plan to turn away other boats.

Meanwhile, a recent crackdown in Thailand on human smugglers may have led smugglers to abandon boatloads of refugees at sea. Though Thai forces provided food to one abandoned boat of migrants pictured above, the New York Times reports that it was unclear if the Thai navy would provide more help. Passengers said that the crew had abandoned them six days ago and that 10 people had died during the voyage, according to the Times.

Some 25,000 Rohingya and Bangladeshis have fled their countries by sea in the first three months of 2015, according to the United Nations, or nearly twice as many as last year.

Read next: The Rohingya, Burma's Forgotten Muslims by James Nachtwey

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