Mortar fired from Myanmar kills Rohingya in Bangladesh

AN 18-year-old Rohingya man was killed and at least six more people injured when mortar shells fired from Myanmar landed inside Bangladesh, officials and Rohingya sources said.

Some one million mostly Muslim Rohingya refugees live in dozens of camps in Bangladesh’s southeastern border district of Cox’s Bazar, after vast numbers fled a crackdown by the military of Buddhist-majority Myanmar in 2017.

At the same time, across the border in Rakhine state, the Myanmar military regularly clashes with the Arakan Army, which has for years fought a war for autonomy for the area’s ethnic Rakhine population.

Dil Mohammad, the leader of a Rohingya group living on the border at Tumbru, said the 18-year-old man was killed when mortar shells fired from Myanmar hit the area late Friday.

Lieutenant-General Faizur Rahman, head of operations of the Border Guards Bangladesh, said that a Rohingya was killed in the shelling.

His troops had secured the frontier and strong protests would be lodged with Myanmar, he added.

A senior Bangladeshi civilian official said at least six more people had been injured at Konapara, a border village inside Bangladesh.

It is the latest in a series of incidents where shells have exploded in Bangladesh, but the first to cause a fatality.

Earlier this month, Dhaka expressed “deep concern over falling mortar shells inside Bangladesh territory, indiscriminate aerial firing from Myanmar in the bordering areas, and air space violation from Myanmar”.

Bangladesh’s foreign ministry has summoned Myanmar’s envoy in Dhaka three times in recent weeks to convey the country’s “grave concerns” over the mortar shells.Dhaka hopes that repatriation of the Rohingya will start later this year, but experts say the clashes between the Myanmar military and rebels mean the conditions do not exist for the Rohingya to agree to return to their villages. — AFP

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