Fire at Rohingya Refugee Camp Leaves Thousands Homeless in Bangladesh

A massive fire has devastated a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh, leaving thousands of people homeless, police said.

About 850,000 of the persecuted mostly Muslim minority, many of whom escaped a 2017 military crackdown in Myanmar that the United Nations investigators concluded was executed with “genocidal intent”, live in a network of camps in Bangladesh’s border district of Cox’s Bazar.

“About 1,200 houses were burnt in the fire,” said Kamran Hossain, a spokesman for the Armed Police Battalion, which heads security in the camp, on Sunday, Al Jazeera reported.

The fire started at Camp 16 and raced through shelters made of bamboo and tarpaulin, leaving more than 5,000 people homeless, he said.0 seconds of 1 minute, 2 secondsVolume 90%

“The fire started at 4:40pm [10:40 GMT] and was brought under control at around 6:30 pm,” he told the AFP news agency.

Mohammed Shamsud Douza, a Bangladesh government official in charge of refugees, said emergency workers had brought the fire under control. The cause of the blaze has not been established, he added.

In March last year, 15 people died and about 50,000 were left homeless in Bangladesh after a huge fire destroyed Rohingya homes in the world’s biggest refugee settlement.

Another blaze tore through a COVID-19 treatment center for refugees in another refugee camp in the district last Sunday, causing no casualties.

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have for years sailed to countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia to look for refuge.

Last month, Indonesia allowed a boat packed with Rohingya refugees, which had become stranded off its coast, to dock after calls from aid organizations to allow the vessel to seek refuge.

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