Huge fire engulfs Rohingya camp in Bangladesh

Thousands of people have been left without shelter after a massive fire broke out in a crowded Rohingya refugee camp in southeastern Bangladesh.

The blaze, which is now under control, engulfed some 2,000 shelters at Cox’s Bazar camp on Sunday.

It is estimated that about 12,000 people, most of whom escaped violence in neighbouring Myanmar, have had their accommodation destroyed.

The cause of the fire is not yet clear and no casualties have been reported.

The blaze started at about 14:45 local time (08: 45 GMT) and quickly tore through the bamboo-and-tarpaulin shel­ters, an official said.

“Some 2,000 shelters have been burnt, leaving about 12,000 forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals shelterless,” Mijanur Rahman, Bangladesh’s refugee commis­sioner, told AFP news agency.

The blaze was brought under control within three hours but at least 35 mosques and 21 learning centres for the refugees were also destroyed, he added.

Hrusikesh Harichandan, from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, told the BBC there had been “mas­sive damage” to the camp.

He said basic services such as water centres and testing facilities had also been affected.

“My shelter was gutted. (My shop) was also burnt,” Mamun Johar, a 30-year-old Rohingya man, told AFP.

“The fire took everything from me, everything.” —BBC

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