Fire guts over 1,000 tents in Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh

Firefighters work to douse flames at a Rohingya refugee camp at Kutupalong in Cox's Bazar district, Bangladesh. (Photo/AP)

Several thousand Rohingya Muslims have been left homeless in bone-chilling winter after a massive fire burned down and damaged tents in Bangladesh's southeastern city of Cox's Bazar, home to about 1.2 million refugees.

At least 1,040 refugee tents and shelters were completely been burned down, said Atish Chakma, the Cox's Bazar Fire Service deputy assistant director.

After four hours of frantic efforts, eight firefighter units managed to douse the fire. No casualties were reported, he added.

Refugees, however, said that more houses were gutted in the fire.

"Five to six thousand refugees were made homeless by the fire. We initially got reports that over 1,200 tents were burned down and damaged," said Mohammed Rezuwan Khan, a Rohingya whose relatives lost everything in the fire.

He blamed the incident on sabotage, accusing some Myanmar insurgent groups of trying to establish supremacy in the camps.

The Rohingya in camps are refugees from ethnic persecution in neighbouring Myanmar.

Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Deputy Commissioner Samsud Doza said they were on site to examine the situation, working to accommodate the refugees and ensure food and warm clothing.

The majority of Rohingya living in Bangladesh fled a brutal military crackdown in Rakhine, Myanmar in 2017. Most are housed in overcrowded camps in Cox's Bazar, but since late 2020 over 33,000 have been relocated to the island of Bhasan Char.


Source: TRT