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A massive fire raced through a crammed refugee camp for Rohingya Muslims in southern Bangladesh, leaving thousands homeless, a fire official and the United Nations said.
The blaze hit Camp 11 in Cox’s Bazar, a border district where more than a million Rohingya refugees live, with most having fled a military-led crackdown in Myanmar in 2017.
“We currently don’t have an estimate for damages but there are no reports of casualties,” Rafiqul Islam, additional police superintendent at Cox’s Bazar, told Reuters news agency.
Islam added that the blaze was under control and senior officials from the fire, police and refugee relief departments were present at the site.
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The UNHCR in Bangladesh said in a tweet that Rohingya refugee volunteers were responding to the fire with the agency and its partners providing support. It said multiple shelters and facilities had been destroyed as a result of fires.
Reporting from Dhaka, Al Jazeera’s Tanvir Chowdhury said Balukhali Camp is one of the 32 camps in Cox’s Bazar, where more than 1.2 million people are living.
“The fire is still on and seems to have been caused by a cooking cylinder. Most of the homes are made of bamboo so the fire spreads quickly,” said Chowdhury.
He explained that the region where the fire broke out is quite hilly, making it difficult for rescue to teams to reach it and for families to escape.
Mar 23, 2023Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has underscored the urgent need for unity and concerted efforts from the international community to resolve the Rohingya crisis, in the true spirit of responsibility and burden sharing. He urged the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Myanmar, Noeleen Heyzer, to enhance her engagements with Myanmar authorities as well […]