Massive fire hits crowded Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh

Massive fire raced through a crammed refugee camp for Rohingya Muslims in southern Bangladesh, leaving thousands homeless, a fire official and the United Nations said.

The blaze hit Camp 11 in Cox’s Bazar, a border district where more than a million Rohingya refugees live, with most having fled a military-led crackdown in Myanmar in 2017.

UNHCR in Bangladesh said in a tweet that Rohingya refugee volunteers were responding to the fire with the agency and its partners providing support. It said multiple shelters and facilities had been destroyed as a result of fires.

More than one million Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar over several decades, including about 740,000 who crossed the border starting in August 2017, when the Myanmar military launched a brutal crackdown.

Conditions in Myanmar have worsened since a military takeover in 2021, and attempts to send them back have failed. Mostly Muslim Rohingya face widespread discrimination in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where most are denied citizenship and many other rights.

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