The Washington Post

Refugee camp fire called ‘sabotage’


A fire that left thousands of Rohingya Muslims homeless in Bangladesh camps was a “planned act of sabotage,” a panel investigat­ing the blaze said Sunday.

The blaze broke out in several places at the same time, proving it was a planned act, said senior district government official Abu Sufian, head of the seven-member probe committee. The report was based on input from 150 eye witnesses, Sufian said by phone from Cox’s Bazar.

Nearly 2,800 shelters and more than 90 facilities including hospitals and learning centers were destroyed in the fire on March 5, leaving more than 12,000 people without shelter, officials said. More than 1 million Rohingya refugees live in tens of thousands of huts made of bamboo and thin plastic sheeting in camps in the border district of Cox’s Bazar, most having fled a military-led crackdown in Myanmar in 2017.

Sufian said the fire was a deliberate attempt by militant groups to establish supremacy inside the camps and said, “We recommende­d further investigat­ion by the law-enforcing agency to identify the groups behind the incident.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States