Bangladesh police shoot dead two Rohingya Muslims in refugee camp

The Bangladeshi police say they have shot dead two Rohingya Muslims during a gunfight in a refugee camp, accusing the pair of killing a ruling party official.

Local police inspector Rasel Ahmad said that both men succumbed to their wounds in a nearby hospital a few hours after police forces shot live fire at them in Jadimura refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar district in the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh on Saturday.

He added that the pair had received critical injuries during a manhunt for suspects after a youth wing official of the ruling Awami League party was killed. Police alleged armed members of Rohingya refugees were behind the killing.

The victim, identified as Awami League official Omar Faruk, was shot in the head on Thursday at a settlement in the vicinity of Teknaf, a border town in Cox’s Bazar district, Ahmad said.

He added that the two Rohingya Muslims were regarded by the local police as key suspects in Faruk’s killing, adding that they had been shot during an exchange of fire between police officers and what they called armed people within the refugees.

In the wake of Faruk’s killing on Thursday, hundreds of angry local people blocked a key highway leading to the camps for several hours, torching tires and vandalizing shops visited by members of Rohingya Muslim refugees.

Refugees say the recent incident has caused panic in the squalid camps, where security has been tightened.

More than 740,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Rakhine, their home province in Myanmar, to neighboring Bangladesh following a military offensive against the Muslim minority in Myanmar in 2017 that the United Nations has said was perpetrated with “genocidal intent.”

Thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed, injured, arbitrarily arrested, or raped by Myanmar soldiers and Buddhist mobs mainly between November 2016 and August 2017.

The Rohingya have inhabited Rakhine for centuries, but the state denies them citizenship.

Previous attempts at persuading Rohingya to return to Rakhine have failed due to opposition from the refugees.

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