Bangladesh cracks down on Rohingyas to ‘root out’ crime, dozens arrested

Dhaka, Oct 29 (EFE).- Officials Saturday said dozens of Rohingyas have been arrested in Bangladesh as part of a campaign to “root out” the rising crime, including murders, in refugee camps.

The operation began Thursday night in southeast Cox’s Bazar and lasted all day Friday.

The Armed Police Battalion responsible for security in several camps in Cox’s Bazar’s Ukhiya named the drive “Operation Root Out.”

A police spokesperson said they arrested 41 Rohingyas, including six murder accused.

“We conducted the operation as the number of crimes grew in the camps recently. Two other units of armed police and district police also joined the operation with us,” said spokesperson Faruk Ahmed.

Ahmed said they sealed the camp areas before the operation so that no crime suspects could leave.

The operation came just a day after two Rohingyas were hacked and shot to death in Camp 17 on Thursday.

The twin murders took the number of murders to at least eight in the camps in October, the highest in recent months.

At least 12 Rohingya refugees, including several community leaders, were killed between July and September.

An Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights leader, who is under protective custody, told EFE earlier this month that the rebel group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) might be behind the recent killings, aiming to block the Rohingya repatriation process.

The ARSA allegedly carried out a series of attacks in 2017 in the northern Rakhine province of Myanmar, following which the army launched a brutal retaliatory campaign that led to around 774,000 Rohingyas fleeing to Bangladesh.

However, Bangladesh police have attributed the recent spike in violence in the refugee camps to the return of criminal elements after border tensions with Myanmar. EFE


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