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By Md. Kamruzzaman
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) - A sudden fire damaged at least 30 shanties housing Rohingya refugees in camps in southern Bangladesh on Wednesday, according to local police and eyewitnesses.
“The fire suddenly broke out at a learning center at our camp and very quickly it spread to the adjacent tents,” Mohammad Mostofa Kamal, a refugee at the camp in Cox’s Bazar, told Anadolu Agency.
He added: “Three of us were injured and at least 30 houses including some learning centers were burned down completely.”
The Unchiprang Chakmarkul Rohingya Camp, located in Tekhnaf, Cox’s Bazar, currently houses some 20,000 Muslim minority Rohingya refugees.
“The residents of the gutted tents have taken shelter in neighboring shanties,” Kamal said, adding that representatives from Bangladesh’s refugee commission also visited and assured them they would rebuild the damaged houses within a very short time.
A local police chief told Anadolu Agency they are investigating the cause of the fire.
“We’re collecting evidence and talking to the camp residents to find out the exact reasons behind the fire,” said Pradip Kumar Das, officer-in-charge of a local police station in Cox’s Bazar.
Md. Mahbub Alam Talukder, Bangladesh’s refugee relief and repatriation commissioner, told Anadolu Agency that they would immediately rebuild the damaged houses so the victims can be resettled.
The Rohingya refugees fled a violent crackdown and oppression in neighboring Myanmar starting in August 2017 to find shelter and safety in the camps in Bangladesh.