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Massive fire destroys thousands of homes in Bangladesh Rohingya refugee camps

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Fire services, the Bangladeshi Refugee Aid and Repatriation Commissioner and rescue and response teams remained at the scene Monday evening, where they continued to try to control the fire and prevent it from spreading further, UNHCR said late in the day. Monday afternoon local time.

Antnio Vitorino, Director-General of the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM), said “tens of thousands Rohingya refugees have been affected. “

“I am deeply concerned about the impact of a terrible fire today in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh,” Vitorino said, adding that “IOM teams and partners are working together to respond to the crisis and ensure the safety and well-being of All of you.”

Images from witnesses showed a massive flame consuming the hut and many refugees fleeing on foot. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

“The fire spread so fast that before we knew what had happened, it took over our house,” said Tayeba Begum, a Save the Children volunteer who witnessed the fire. “People were screaming and running here and there. Children were running scattered, crying for their family. Incidents is the most horrific incident I have seen lately.”

Monday’s fire marks the biggest numerous fires that have plagued the camp this year only, said Onno Van Manen, the country director for Save the Children in Bangladesh.

“This is another devastating blow to the Rohingya refugees living here. Just a few days ago we lost one of our health facilities in another fire. The risks of fires in these extremely populated and closed areas are great,” Van Manen said. . .

Fear of forced evacuations as Bangladesh moves hundreds of Rohingya refugees to remote island

Estimates of the number of Rohingya refugees living in Cox’s Bazar range from 800,000 to more than 900,000, according to the UNHCR and Save the Children.

Most refugees have escaped persecution in neighboring Myanmar.

In 2016 and 2017, the Myanmar military launched a brutal killing and arson campaign that forced more than 740,000 Rohingya minority people to flee to neighboring Bangladesh, prompting a genocide case to be heard at the International Court of Justice. In 2019, the United Nations said “serious human rights abuses” by the military were still ongoing in the ethnic states of Rakhine, Chin, Shan, Kachin and Karen.

Myanmar denies genocide allegations and holds “cleansing operations” by military were legal measures against terrorism.

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