Dhaka, Nov 15 (EFE).- An officer of Bangladesh’s military intelligence and a Rohingya woman were killed during a clash between security forces and suspected drug dealers near the Myanmar border, authorities said Tuesday.
The clash occurred on Monday night when members of the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) and the elite force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) conducted a joint anti-drug drive in a bordering area, the Inter Services Public Relations Directorate (ISPR), of Bangladesh’s armed forces, said in a statement.
“During the clash with drug smugglers, an on-duty DGFI officer (Bangladesh Air Force officer) embraced martyrdom by sacrificing his life for the country and a RAB member was injured,” the ISPR said.
The duty officer of the police station of Naikhongchari, which falls under Bandarban district, Joy Dev, confirmed the death of a Rohingya woman in the clash.
He said that the incident occurred around 8 pm on Monday near Gum Dhum, a border area located just a few kilometers from the Kutupalong refugee camp and used by several thousand Rohingyas who fled Myanmar to Bangladesh.
Bangladesh’s security forces launched a crackdown on suspected Rohingya criminals amid a rising number of crimes in refugee camps in the country and arrested at least 75 refugees in late October.
The Armed Police Battalion, which is responsible for security in several camps in southeast Cox’s Bazar district, carried out the drive named “Operation Root Out.”
The drive was conducted after at least eight Rohingyas were killed in the camps in October, the highest in recent months.
An Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights leader, who is under protective custody, told EFE in October 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 Myanmar’s northern Rakhine province, to which the army retaliated with a brutal campaign that led to around 774,000 Rohingyas fleeing to Bangladesh.
Police in Bangladesh registered 2,438 crimes in Rohingya camps between Aug.25, 2017 and Aug. 20, 2022, according to officials.
These include 100 cases of murder – most of them carried out with knives or guns – 185 cases of possession of arms, 1,636 drug-related crimes, 39 kidnappings, and 13 cases of attacks on security forces.
A total of 5,226 refugees have been charged for these crimes. EFE