January 7, 2024
19:46 at night
DHAKA – (Reuters)
An early Sunday morning fire at a Rohingya refugee camp in southeastern Bangladesh has destroyed about 800 shelters and displaced thousands, officials said.
Firefighters and Rohingya volunteers were able to contain the fire in Cox's Bazar area (Camp 5) on the border with Myanmar, three hours after it broke out, shortly before 1 am (1900 GMT).
Muhammad Mizanur Rahman, Commissioner for Refugee Relief and Repatriation in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, said that apart from housing, many facilities, including educational centers, had been destroyed and there were no casualties.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said the fire has left around seven thousand Rohingya homeless and damaged around 120 facilities, including mosques and health facilities.
“We have taken all necessary steps… providing them with food and temporary shelter,” said Mohammad Shamsud Dausa, deputy government official in charge of refugees.
One million members of Myanmar's Muslim minority live in overcrowded camps made of bamboo and plastic in the Cox's Bazar border region of Bangladesh. Most of them fled the crackdown in their country in 2017.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said: “The cause of the fire is still unknown, but government officials have assured us that an investigation into the cause of the fire will be conducted.”
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