TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Leaders and heads of the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held an emergency meeting in Kazakhstan about the ongoing systematic violence against Muslims in Myanmar.

In the meeting held in the Kazakh capital of Astana on Sunday on the sidelines of the First OIC Summit on Science and Technology, the heads of state examined conditions of displaced Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

In a statement issued at the meeting, the participants stressed the need to put an end to the ongoing tragedy in Myanmar and send humanitarian assistance to the victims of the government-backed violence against Rohingya.

Speaking to reporters in Tehran on Saturday before his departure for Astana, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ad said that the meeting would be held in Kazakhstan.

The Rohingya have long faced severe discrimination and were the targets of violence in 2012 that killed hundreds and drove about 140,000 people from their homes to camps for the internally displaced.

Over the past days, intensifying clashes between security forces and insurgents in western Myanmar have sent about 270,000 terrified civilians scrambling toward the Bangladesh border in a desperate search for refuge.

A United Nations report in February said the military crackdown on the Rohingya had led to gang rape, the killing of hundreds of civilians and the forced displacement of people.