Man dies in a shootout between Rohingya factions at border zero-line

Another man was shot in the incident in Naikhongchhari’s Ghumdhum

Cox’s Bazar
Published : 18 Jan 2023, 10:23 AM
Updated : 18 Jan 2023, 10:23 AM

A man has been killed and another injured by gunfire at a Rohingya camp near the Tambru zero-line near the border in Bandarban’s Naikhongchhari.

“Locals have sent in reports of intermittent gunfire this morning near the Tambru border’s zero-line. It is ongoing," Romen Sharma, upazila executive officer, said on Wednesday.

“As the incident occurred at the zero-line, no agencies, including the BGB, have the authority to intervene under international norms," he said. “Still, the BGB is on alert and the administration is constantly monitoring the situation at the border.”

Two people with bullet wounds were brought to the MSF Hospital next to the Kutupalong camp in the afternoon, said Sheikh Mohammad Ali, chief of Ukhiya Police Station.

“Doctors there declared one of them dead. The other was in critical condition and was sent to Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital.”

The dead man was identified as Hamid Ullah, 27, while the injured was identified as Mohid Ullah, 25.

“We have heard sounds of gunfire continuously since morning,” said Md Jahangir Aziz, chairman of the Ghumdhum Union Council. We don’t know what’s happening there, but locals are under extreme stress.”

“The shootout happened between two factions of Rohingya,” said Dil Mohammad, a Rohingya community leader at the zero-line camp. “The gunfire started at 6 am and is still ongoing as of 12:30 pm.”

The community leader was unsure if there had been any casualties.

The BGB, Bangladesh’s border patrol force, could not be reached for comment.

Asked about the situation, spokesman Md Abu Salam of RAB-15 said, “There are no ongoing RAB operations near the Tambru border. They were not planning one either.”

“In the morning, armed members of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO) clashed in the area next to the Rohingya camp near the Konarpara zero-line,” said Dil Mohammad. “The fighting then spread inside the Rohingya camp.”

The fighting was likely due to a fight for control of the area, but the cause is not confirmed, he said.

Camp residents have been terrified since the gunfire began, the Rohingya leader said. “Many are afraid to leave the camp. They are trapped.”

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher