Fire at 40 points in forest near Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar; sabotage suspected

As many as 40 points of a reserved forest near Rohingya camps at Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar along the border with Myanmar have caught fire.

Cox’s Bazar
Published : 8 March 2018, 02:04 PM
Updated : 8 March 2018, 02:04 PM

The authorities suspect the incident is an act of sabotage.

Teknaf Assistant Commissioner (Land) Pronoy Chakma said the Fire Service crew started working to douse the blazes around 2pm on Thursday.

The Nayaparha and Leda refugee camps, adjacent to the 28-acre reserved forest west of Teknaf Upazila Council, are about a kilometre from the border.

Pronoy said they sent the firemen after the locals informed them about the fire at 40 places in the forest.

He said the Fire Service workers brought the blazes under control at several places until 4pm.

“They are trying to control the fire at other places so that those cannot spread to nearby settlements,” he said.

The AC (Land), however, could not confirm the reason behind the fire.

“We in the administration suspect this is an act of sabotage. We are investigating,” he said.

Nearly 700,000 Rohingyas have joined around 400,000 refugees in Bangladesh after the Myanmar army launched an operation against the ethnic minority on Aug 25 last year.

In Bangladesh, the Rohingyas are staying in shanties at the camps at Teknaf and Ukhia in Cox’s Bazar, and Bandarban. Many of them have also taken shelter on government land on hills.

Recently, tension mounted on Ghumdhum border following deployment of additional troops by Myanmar. Later, the border guards of the two sides held a meeting and conducted joint patrol to ease the tension.