Mortar shell fired from Myanmar kills Rohingya boy in Bangladesh

Dhaka, Sep 17 (EFE).- A Rohingya boy was killed and five others were injured after a mortar shell fired from Myanmar exploded near a refugee camp in bordering Bangladesh, a witness and an official said.

The incident happened on Friday in the Rohingya camp near no man’s land in the Ghum Dhum area of Bangladesh’s Bandarban district.

Some 4,500 Rohingya have been living in the area since a mass exodus from Myanmar’s Rakhine state to Bangladesh began in August 2017.

Local Rohingya leader Dil Mohammad told EFE that at least four mortar shells hit their camp and surrounding areas at about 8 pm local time, injuring six refugees.

A 15-year-old Rohingya boy succumbed to his injuries, he said.

“One of the shells hit our camp directly. Two other shells fell near the camp and one landed inside the Bangladesh territory,” said Mohammad.

Mohammad said the five injured Rohingyas were undergoing treatment at a hospital by Geneva-based non-profit MSF.

The Border Guard Bangladesh spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Fayzur Rahman, confirmed the death of a Rohingya boy.

Rahman said the authorities would lodge a strong protest with Myanmar authorities.

“One Rohingya is confirmed dead. We are trying to gather details as it happened in the darkness. We heard of two mortar shells. One of them remained unexploded. Whatever it is, we are going to lodge a strong protest through diplomatic channels,” Rahman told EEF.

It was the latest of several incidents that saw mortar shells fired from Myanmar land into Bangladesh territory amid reported heavy fighting between the Myanmar Army and rebel Arakan Amy.

On Sep. 4, Bangladesh expressed its concerns to Myanmar about fighting in the border area after two mortar shells landed on its territory without causing any casualties.

Local media reported that a Myanmar Army helicopter infringed into Bangladesh’s sky in late August to attack rebels.

Bangladesh’s foreign minister, AK Abdul Momen, this week told reporters in Dhaka they have sealed the border with Myanmar completely and put the country’s border guards on high alert amid fears of a fresh Rohingya influx.

Around 936,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh, including 774,000 who survived a wave of violence and persecution by the Myanmar military in August 2017.

The crackdown has invited allegations of ethnic cleansing and genocidal intent against the Myanmar military.

Two attempts to start their repatriation to Myanmar failed as the Rohingyas refused to return without guarantees of citizenship and safety. EFE


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