The Guardian

Bangladesh fires leave thousands of Rohingya homeless

Thousands of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh have been left without shelter after a suspected arson attack on their camp left about 800 homes ablaze, officials said Sunday.

Bangladesh is home to about 1 million Rohingya, many of whom fled neighboring Myanmar's military crackdown on the largely Muslim minority in 2017, which is now the subject of a UN genocide investigation. It's here.

The United Nations refugee agency said “approximately 7,000 Rohingya refugees” were left homeless, but there were no casualties.

Refugee commissioner Mizanur Rahman said the blaze destroyed a crowded shelter made of bamboo and tarpaulin at a camp in the country's southeast early Sunday morning.

“At least 711 shelters were burnt down and 63 shelters were partially damaged,” Rahman said, estimating the number of homeless people at 4,000.

“We have ordered an investigation into the fire,” he added. “Arson is suspected.”

The UN said 120 facilities, including learning centres, mosques and medical centres, were also “destroyed or damaged by the inferno”.

Some refugees had to demolish their homes to create corridors to prevent the fire from spreading further.

“Refugees displaced by the fire are temporarily sheltering in the camp's community center,” the U.N. refugee agency said in a statement.


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