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HomeNews ReportsBangladesh: Seven killed in attack on Madrasa in Rohingya refugee camp, Rohingyas allege armed...

Bangladesh: Seven killed in attack on Madrasa in Rohingya refugee camp, Rohingyas allege armed group ARSA attacked for refusing to open terror camp

The relatives of the victims have alleged that members ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army) were pressurizing the chief of the madrasa in the Rohingya camp to set up a terrorist training centre there

Seven people were killed at a madrasa in a Rohingya refugee camp in Cox Bazar in Bangladesh on Friday, in a suspected terror attack. The attack took place at around 4 am at Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama Al-Islamiyah Madrasa, located at Block H-52 of Camp 18 in Balukhali, Ukhiya. The victims include 3 teachers, students and volunteers of the Madrasa. Apart from the six deaths, around 20 people were injured in the attack. The attackers shot some and stabbed others.

Four people died on the spot while three died in the hospital, informed Superintendent of Police (SP) Shihab Kaiser, chief of the Ukhiya-based unit of the Armed Police Battalion (APBn). Police have nabbed one of the attackers with a locally-made firearm, ammunition, and a sharp weapon, and the police forces are conducting raids in the camps to hunt the perpetrators of the attack.

According to the reports, the Rohingyas allege that a terrorist group wanted to set up a training centre at the madrasa inside Camp No 18. The relatives of the victims have alleged that a group of men identifying themselves as ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army) was pressurizing the chief of the madrasa to set up a terrorist training centre there. As the madrasa authorities didn’t agree to the demand, they were attacked in the night.

The relatives added that the terrorists were still roaming around the camps, but the Rohingyas are not able to inform about the same to police fearing for their lives. They allege that while law enforcement authorities run the camps during the day, ARSA terrorists control the camps at the night.

Initially, the authorities had believed that violence had broken out between two Rohingya factions in the refugee camp. It was reported that the violence broke out between two factions in the quest of establishing supremacy over an illegal drugs trade at the camp. The reports had said that one faction opened fire on the other group.

Officials in Bangladesh have also mentioned that the Rohingyas in the refugee camps were involved in serious crimes from kidnapping and ransom-seeking to drug smuggling. According to the officials, the Rohingyas used the refugee camps to smuggle drugs from their home country Myanmar.

Weeks earlier, a leader of the Rohingyas, Mohibullah was shot dead by gunmen in the office where the leader held community meetings. Reportedly a video went viral on social media where Mohibullah’s brother, Habib Ullah, claimed that the armed group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) was responsible for the shooting.

ARSA however denied any involvement in the killing of Mohibullah and tweeted “shocked and saddened” by the news of his death and also said, “finger-pointing with baseless and hearsay accusations”

Millions of Rohingyas live in the refugee camps in southern Bangladesh having fled the persecution in 2007 in Myanmar. Residents claim that the camps have become increasingly hostile and violent with the emergence of all kinds of gangs and extremist groups striving for power. Reports indicate the rise of radical Islamists and that restrictions are being imposed on women in these camps. Sources say that drug cartels also operate in these camps which are involved in the killing of people.

The Bangladesh govt is trying to reduce the population in the refugee camps by shifting them to the new housing facilities built on the Bhasan Char island. The govt has constructed 1,440 buildings on the island to house around one lakh refugees. But the Rohingyas are refusing to move there, and left-liberal media and activists are also opposing the move. So far, only around 20,000 people have been shifted to the island.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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