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3rd Rohingya refugee killed by Bangladeshi police

The file photo, taken on November 18, 2018, shows a view of the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh. (Photo by AFP)

A third Rohingya refugee has been shot dead by the Bangladeshi police during a gunfight at a camp.

Local police chief Prodeep Kumar Das said on Monday that Mohammad Hasan, a suspected Rohingya “dacoit” or gang member, was killed after he allegedly opened fire at officers during a raid to detain him at Jadimura refugee camp.

“He is an accused in the murder of Omar Faruk,” the police official said, referring to a ruling Awami League party youth wing official who was shot in the head by suspected criminals last week.

Police on Saturday shot dead two Rohingya refugees at the same camp in the Cox’s Bazar district over their alleged role in the murder.

Rights activists said they believed the two Rohingya men were killed by police in what appeared to be a staged encounter.

Faruk’s murder had sparked anger among the local population, with hundreds of furious people blocking a key highway leading to the camp for hours on Thursday.

Rohingya refugees have said the recent bloodshed has created an atmosphere of fear in the camp.

Figures show at least 33 Rohingya people have been killed by the Bangladeshi police and security forces since August 2017.

Ruhul Amin, a police inspector, said most were suspected drug traffickers, accused of smuggling yaba, a popular methamphetamine pill, from across Myanmar’s border.

Nearly one million Rohingya Muslims live in squalid camps in south-east Bangladesh, 740,000 of whom fled the 2017 military crackdown against the Muslim minority in Myanmar.

Thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed, injured, arbitrarily arrested, or raped by Myanmar’s soldiers and Buddhist mobs mainly between November 2016 and August 2017.

The UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar said in a recent report that the scale of sexual violence against the Rohingya was an indication of the Myanmar military’s “genocidal intent.”

The latest incident comes days after a second failed attempt to repatriate the refugees, which saw not a single Rohingya turn up to return across the border to conflict-scarred Rakhine state.

On Sunday, the Rohingya marked two years since the military offensive in Myanmar. Thousands rallied at a camp where refugee leaders vowed they would not return home unless their security and rights were ensured.

Rohingya literally means a resident of Rakhine. The Rohingya have inhabited Rakhine for centuries, but the state denies them citizenship.

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