Thousands of Rohingya refugees have been left homeless after a fire gutted parts of their refugee camp in south-eastern Bangladesh, 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.
The fire started at Camp 16 and raced through shelters made of bamboo and tarpaulin, leaving more than 5,000 people homeless, he said.
‘The fire started at 4:40pm (10:40 GMT) and was brought under control at around 6:30pm,’ 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.
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