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Dhaka Tribune

Shelling near Gumdhum border spreads panic among locals

According to local sources, 60 families of Gumdhum union left their homes at midnight after the mortar shell and landmine explosions on Friday

Update : 19 Sep 2022, 09:48 AM

The continuous shelling in Myanmar’s Rakhine state has been causing a panic among locals in Gumdhum border area of Bandarban with many leaving their homes and taking shelter with relatives.

According to local sources, 60 families of Gumdhum union left their homes at midnight after the mortar shell and landmine explosions on Friday. 

At least one died and six other people including a Rohingya child sustained critical injuries in Friday’s firing and mortar shelling.

Local village police Abdul Jabbar said the deceased’s body was handed over to the family after an autopsy on Saturday morning. The body was then laid to rest by the relatives.

Some residents returned home on Sunday morning as the situation seemed to calm down a notch.

Dil Mohammad, a member of ward two of Gumdhum union, said: "Although the situation seems to be somewhat normal, everything is still at a standstill. Sometimes gunshots can be heard. In the meantime, some of those who left Konarpara and Majherpara have returned home this morning.”

Gumdhum Union Parishad Chairman Jahangir Aziz said: "I do not understand what the Myanmar army wants. However, the BGB said it was ready to deal with all kinds of situations. They increased their patrolling duties too.” 

Naikhongchhari Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Salma Ferdous said that at present, the situation in the border areas is somewhat normal. BGB members have beefed up security in the region.

Meanwhile, several journalists from Naikhongchhari have alleged that BGB members are preventing journalist from performing their duties in Gumdhum and Tumbru. 

In this regard, BGB members told reporters that they are following instructions from the higher ups.

Bandarban Deputy Commissioner Yasmin Parvin Tibrizi said: "BGB members are working for the security of the border. Besides, the district administration is working to ensure that the locals do not panic.”

“In the ongoing situation, the SSC examinees of Gumdhum High School were taken to a centre in Ukhiya upazila of Cox's Bazar on Saturday. Adequate vehicles have also been arranged for them,” he added.

On August 28, two mortar shells landed in a settlement in Gumdhum area of Naikhongchhari upazila of Bandarban, adjacent to the Zero Point on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border. 

Although no one was injured in the incident, panic spread among the residents of the border area. Since then, gunshots have been heard almost every day. 

Of these, the country fired from two fighter aircraft and two fighting helicopters.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Myanmar ambassador to Dhaka four times, including Sunday morning, to protest over the incident. 

Earlier, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal also warned that Bangladesh will go to international forums if such incidents happen again.

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