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Massive fire sweeps though Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, thousands of homes lost: UN agency

CA, 15 Jan 2021
A huge fire swept through Rohingya refugee camps in southern Bangladesh in the early hours of Thursday, the United Nations said, destroying the homes of thousands of people.

The U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said more than 550 shelters home to around 3,500 people were either totally or partially destroyed in the blaze, as well as 150 shops and a facility belonging to a non-profit organization. No casualties were reported.

Photographs and video provided to Reuters by a Rohingya refugee in Nayapara Camp showed families including children, sifting through charred corrugated iron sheets to see if they could salvage anything from their still smouldering homes. But little remained of the camp, which had stood for decades, aside from concrete poles and the husks of a few trees.

UNHCR said it was providing shelter, materials, winter clothes, hot meals, and medical care for the refugees displaced from the camp in the Cox's Bazar district, a sliver of land bordering Myanmar in southeastern Bangladesh.

More than a million Rohingya live in the mainland camps in southern Bangladesh, the vast majority having fled Myanmar in 2017 from a military-led crackdown that U.N. investigators said was executed with "genocidal intent," charges Myanmar denies.

MORE: https://globalnews.ca/news/7367526/myanmar-says-militants-hampering-rohingya-return/

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