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Dhaka Tribune

7 suspected Rohingya robbers killed in Cox's Bazar 'gunfights'

At least 50 Rohingya people were killed in shootouts in Bangladesh since Rohingya refugees influx began in August 2017

Update : 02 Mar 2020, 11:14 AM

Seven suspected robbers were killed reportedly in a gunfight with Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)  in Teknaf, Cox's Bazar on Monday.

The suspects, believed to have been from the Rohingya community, were killed when the crime busting elite force RAB members intercepted them during a robbery attempt, RAB's (Legal and Media wing) Senior Assistant Director Shujoy Sarkar told Dhaka Tribune.

Acting on an intelligence tip-off over a pre-planned robbery in Jadimora area, Lieutenant Mirza Shahed Mahtab, company commander of Rab-15, accompanied by a team of security forces, carried out a security operation at Jadimora hill under Teknaf upazila on Sunday morning.

Sensing the presence of law enforcement personnel, the suspected robbers opened fire on them, prompting them to fire back in self-defense. The shoot-out resulted in seven deaths, said Shujoy Sarkar. 

The identities of the deceased could not yet be confirmed.

RAB also claimed to have recovered five firearms and a large cache of ammunition from the spot.

In a separate incident, a suspected drug trader was killed in a reported gunfight with members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) in Jadimora point near Naf river in Teknaf upazila. 

The identity of the deceased could not yet be confirmed.

Acting on a tip-off, a BGB patrol team of Noyapara stationed itself in the area around 4am, said Lieutenant Col Mohammad Faisal Hasan Khan, commanding officer of BGB-2 battalion.

At one stage, the team challenged a group of drug traders who were attempting to flee the scene. Sensing imminent danger, the gang members among the drug dealers opened fire on them, forcing the BGB personnel  to fire back in self-defense.

Three BGB members sustained injuries in the gunfight.

After the gunfight, the BGB team apprehended a wounded drug trader and took him to Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital where doctors declared him dead.

The BGB team also recovered 1.5 lakh pieces of Yaba pills, one firearm, and two rounds of cartridges from the spot.

At least 50 Rohingya people have been killed in shootouts in Bangladesh since the latest mass influx of Rohingya refugees began in August 2017, according to media reports.

Statistics compiled by Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), a national legal aid and human rights organization, notes that an estimated 388 extra-judicial killings have taken place in 2019, which means one person-plus was killed each day in the year. 

The number of victims in extrajudicial killings was 466 in 2018.

Local and international rights groups have continued to voice their concerns over alleged human rights abuses in Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar.

Crime and violence are rife in the refugee camps around the coastal city of Cox's Bazar, where hundreds of thousands of ethnic Rohingya have taken shelter in recent years after fleeing persecution in their native Myanmar.

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