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Bangladesh govt sends more troops to end Rohingya camp drug turf war

  • Published at 02:55 pm October 7th, 2020
WEB_Police_Rohingya camp_AFP_17.08.2018
File photo: Bangladeshi police patrolling in a Rohingya refugee camp, in Teknaf on July 18, 2018 AFP

The camps have for over three years served as a home for nearly one million Muslim Rohingya fleeing a military crackdown in Myanmar

The government has sent more troops into the world's largest refugee camp, police said on Wednesday, after days of fighting between rival Rohingya drug gangs left seven people dead.

Two armed gangs of refugees from Myanmar are waging a deadly turf war in the sprawling camp, home to almost a million people, over control of the lucrative cross-border methamphetamine trade.

The seven killed in the past six days include one woman, an official said. Several others have reportedly been injured.

Also Read- Tensions high in Rohingya camps as casualties mount from internal clashes

"We found four bodies at the Lambasia refugee camp on Tuesday night. Three of them were shot dead and another had stab marks," the Additional Superintendent of Police (Administration) of Cox's Bazar, Md Rafiqul Islam told AFP.

He said hundreds of military and armed police have been deployed since fighting began on October 2, with numbers scaled up after Tuesday's clashes.

"The situation is now calm," he added.

The camps have for over three years served as a home for nearly one million Muslim Rohingya fleeing a military crackdown in Myanmar.

That crackdown - which the United Nations has said could constitute genocide - followed attacks on Myanmar security posts by the militant Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).

Also Read- RAB detains 9 Rohingyas with arms following fatal Kutupalong clash

Rohingya leaders said ARSA was now involved in a turf war with the Munna Gang, named after a top drug smuggler based in Kutupalong camp. His elder brother and three members of his family were reportedly killed in the clashes. 

"ARSA has claimed responsibility for the killing of four people, who are relatives of a Rohingya gang leader," said one activist, who added he was relocating his family to another section because of the fighting. 

Another Rohingya youth leader based in Kutupalong, the largest of the sprawling camps, told AFP: "ARSA is behind all the killings over the past week. They want to impose their total control over the camps."

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