Videos posted on social media show smoke billowing from Balukhali Camp 1 in Cox’s Bazar.
A massive fire has swept through a Rohingya refugee camp in southern Bangladesh, officials and witnesses said, gutting hundreds of shanties.
Videos posted on social media on Monday showed clouds of smoke billowing from Balukhali Camp 1 in Cox’s Bazar.
“We have got the report of fire and we responded to the incident. We are trying to control the blaze,” Mohammad Shamsud Douza, additional commissioner of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission, told Anadolu Agency.
Witnesses at the camp in Cox’s Bazar said the fire started at around 3.30pm local time (10:30GMT) and has not been yet contained.
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“More than 700 tents have been gutted while the fire has gone almost out of control,” Mayyu Khan, a Rohingya community leader, told Anadolu.
Muhammad Ayyub, another Rohingya representative, told Anadolu over telephone that at least one 19-year-old woman and two children, aged six and nine, have been reportedly killed and several others are missing.
In January, a fire swept through another Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar that left thousands without shelter.
According to the UN refugees agency UNHCR, more than 550 shelters – home to at least 3,500 people – were either totally or partially destroyed in the blaze at Nayapara camp, as well as 150 shops and a facility belonging to a non-profit organisation.
In recent weeks, the Bangladesh government has moved several thousand Rohingya to a remote island despite protests from human rights groups who say some of the relocations were forced, allegations denied by authorities.
More than a million Rohingya live in the mainland camps in southern Bangladesh, the vast majority having fled Myanmar in 2017 in a military-led crackdown the UN said was executed with genocidal intent – charges Myanmar denies.
More to follow.