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Bangladesh: Three killed in Rohingya refugee camp stampede

Bangladesh: Three killed in Rohingya refugee camp stampede
Bangladeshi volunteers distributing food to Rohingya refugees on Sep 10, 2017. Pic: AFP

Cox’s Bazar: Two children and a woman were killed in a stampede when an unauthorised relief distribution took place near a Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar of Bangladesh, UN agencies said on Saturday.

The incident occurred on Friday at Balukhali in Cox’s Bazar district due to widespread fights between Rohingya for food and clothing thrown from relief trucks, reports HT.

“Two children and one woman were killed in a stampede during an unauthorised clothing distribution on the road in Balukhali Pan Bazar area,” said a report prepared by a group of UN agencies and two charities.

“Despite local regulations and the control room established, private distributions of relief items continue,” it said, highlighting chaotic aid management that has drawn flak from rights workers.

AFP correspondents have witnessed violent scuffles for aid at camps around Cox’s Bazar. Refugee witnesses have also told of stampedes. A local rights expert said fights were breaking out each time an aid truck arrived and when food sacks were thrown to the refugees.

“We know two Rohingya have died on Friday at Balukhali area. They included a six-month-old baby who died of pneumonia,” local police chief Mohammed Kai-Kislu said.

Most Rohingya, who spent more than a week trekking cross-country from Rakhine to the Bangladesh border, have found camps overflowing and been forced to camp on muddy roadsides.