The atrocities by Myanmar’s army during the recent crackdown are still haunting the country’s Rohingya Muslims, triggering a fresh exodus of refugees to Bangladesh.
Among the latest arrivals, one identified as Musa by his companion died at Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) from a gunshot wound sustained during the crackdown. The 22-year-old was from Maungdaw in Rakhine state of Myanmar.
Another injured Rohingya man, who called himself Mukhtar, on Saturday told the Dhaka Tribune that he, Musa and another crossed over into Bangladesh after a group of army men with heavy weapons swooped on their village all on a sudden on Thursday night.
“They shot dead a villager. We were injured in the gunfire,” he said.
The third Rohingya was admitted to a hospital at Ukhiya upazila in Cox’s Bazar.
“The army men were firing indiscriminately at us. We were running helter-skelter to save our lives. Only two of us managed to escape the atrocities, and two died on the spot. Initially, we took shelter in a nearby hill after fleeing our village with severe injuries. To avoid being caught by the army men, we later left the hill and crawled into another village,” the shell-shocked survivor narrated the horrors of the night, lying on a CMCH bed.
“The villagers provided us with food, water and shelter. Later, we crossed into Bangladesh with the help of agents from the two sides. Scores of Rohingya people, mostly women and children, are still agonisingly waiting to take shelter in Bangladesh,” he said.
At least 89 people including a dozen security forces were killed as Rohingya insurgents besieged border posts in northern Rakhine State, according to The Hindu.
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The state is bisected by religious hatred focused on the stateless Rohingya Muslim minority, who are reviled and perceived as illegal immigrants in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
Fearing further persecution, Mukhtar said he did not want to return home.
Standing beside the bullet-hit youth, Jahara Begum, who identified Mukhtar as her son-in-law, said that on information she received and whisked him off to the hospital.
“I live in a registered Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar. I am worried as many of our relatives are still passing their days in utter insecurity,” added Jahara.
Contacted, CMCH Director Brig Gen Md Jalal Uddin said the two Rohingya youths were admitted to the hospital with gunshot injuries early Saturday.
“Both of them received bullet injuries two days back in Myanmar. Of the two, one by the name of Musa succumbed to his injuries at the hospital,” said Jalal.
Asked about Mukhtar’s condition, he said: “Mukhtar sustained injuries in the chest. He is showing symptoms of poor consciousness level. We will take decision about surgery after conducting some tests.
“We are hopeful of giving him proper treatment if his health condition does not deteriorate.”
The body of Musa has been kept at the hospital morgue.