At least seven killed in Rohingya refugee camp attack in Bangladesh’s Cox Bazar

At least seven people were killed in an attack at a Rohingya camp in Bangladesh’s Cox Bazar on Friday, police said.

A gang armed with guns and knives attacked a religious school before dawn in Cox Bazar’s Ukhiya area and killed three teachers, two volunteers and a student, police superintendent Shihab Kaiser Khan said.

“A drive is underway to arrest those responsible for the incident,” Khan told reporters, adding one Rohingya man with weapons and ammunition had been taken into custody.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said “arrangements will be made to increase security” at the Rohingya camps in the coastal Cox’s Bazar district.

“Manpower and logistical support of law enforcement agencies … will be provided to enhance security,” said Kamal.

The minister said surveillance and border patrols would be stepped up to curb the entry and sale of drugs in Rohingya camps. Surveillance on the Naf River, the only transboundary river between Bangladesh and Myanmar, will be strengthened, he added.

Kamal said construction of barbed wire fences in the camps is in the final stages and there are several watchtowers across the camps to monitor movements.

More than a million Rohingya live in a cluster of refugee camps in southern Bangladesh, with most having fled neighbouring Myanmar during a military crackdown in 2007.

The sprawling settlements have become increasingly violent, residents say, with armed gangs vying for power, kidnapping critics and warning women against breaking conservative Islamic norms.

Late last month, gunmen shot and killed a prominent Rohingya Muslim leader in the camps.