Thousands of Bangladeshis have protested the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, taking to the streets of the capital in front of a national mosque.

Chanting "Stop killing Rohingya Muslims," they marched in Dhaka amid tight security Friday as the violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state escalated, forcing thousands to leave their homes.

The protesters from several Islamic groups burned an effigy of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and a flag of Myanmar.

Also, rights group Amnesty International asked Bangladesh not to forcibly send fleeing Rohingya back to Myanmar, which considers them non-citizens.

Up to 500,000 undocumented Rohingya live in Bangladesh after arriving from Myanmar in waves since the 1970s. Some 33,000 registered Rohingya refugees are living in two camps in southern Cox's Bazar district.