The Cox’s Bazar and Bandarban district administrations have taken the initiative to evacuate risky border areas as fighting between the Myanmar military and rebels led to casualties in Bangladesh, stirring panic among local residents.
Cox’s Bazar Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Shahin Imran and Bandarban Deputy Commissioner Shah Mujahid Uddin sent the orders to the relevant upazila officials on Tuesday.
There has been intermittent gunfire from across the border in Myanmar near Ghumdhum Union in Bandarban’s Nakhongchhari, Cox’s Bazar’s Ukhiya and Palankhali, and Teknaf’s Nhila Union.
Over 100,000 people living near the border area are at risk, according to information from the two district administrations. They will be evacuated to schools and community centres at a safe distance temporarily.
“The battle in Myanmar is growing fiercer,” said Cox’s Bazar Deputy Commissioner Imran. “Bullets and mortar shells from there are hitting houses on our side of the border. As such, we have given instructions to evacuate border residents at risk to safety.”
The upazila executive officers in Ukhiya and Teknaf have been instructed accordingly.
However, no one had been evacuated as of 2 pm on Tuesday, the deputy commissioner said.
“The situation is being monitored and the process to evacuate them to safety will begin.”
Bandarban Deputy Commissioner Mujahid said, “The situation at the border is tense. Initially, we are asking residents of the Ghumdhum and Tumbru border areas to seek safe shelter. The administration and public representatives are working on the situation.”
A shelter has been opened at the North Ghumdhum Government Primary School, he said. The chairman of the local union council is providing support in bringing residents to the shelter.