Rohingya killed in suspected landmine border blast

Asia World

DHAKA:  A man believed to be a Rohingya refugee has been killed in a suspected landmine explosion along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, officials said Wednesday (Sep 4). 

Nearly a million of the Rohingya Muslim minority live in camps in southeast Bangladesh after fleeing military violence in Myanmar and typically use the porous border to travel back to Rakhine state.

Bangladesh officials have accused Myanmar security forces of planting mines along border areas to prevent the refugees from returning to their villages.

Bangladesh border guards said they heard a loud explosion on Tuesday and saw several men leaving behind a badly wounded person at the border village of Ghumdum.

“We suspect he was killed in a landmine explosion inside Myanmar and then these people carried the body to Bangladesh territory,” a senior Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) official told AFP on Wednesday on condition of anonymity.

BGB regional commander Ali Haider Azad Ahmed said the dead man is believed to be a Rohingya refugee.

The man, believed to be in his 30s, has not yet been identified. A spokesman for the nearby state-run hospital said parts of his legs were blown off in the blast.

“The injuries bore hallmarks of landmine explosions,” local police chief Anwar Hossain told AFP.

Myanmar troops have been accused of waging an ethnic cleansing campaign against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority, with some 740,000 fleeing to Bangladesh since August 2017.

At the height of the mass exodus when tens of thousands of Rohingya poured into Bangladesh every day, several were killed or seriously hurt in suspected landmine explosions along the border.

Anti-personnel mines were banned under a global treaty in 1997.

Rights groups Amnesty International said then that it had documented what appeared to be the targeted use of landmines along a narrow stretch forming part of the northwestern border of Rakhine.

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