Saturday, October 31, 2020

Drug gang warfare kills 8 in Rohingya refugee camp

Police say most of those killed were involved in the drug trade or trafficking Rohingya to Malaysia.

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At least eight Rohingya refugees have been killed and thousands forced to flee as growing violence engulfs the world’s largest refugee camp, housing more than a million people.

The underlying cause of the lawlessness is methamphetamine, or shabu, manufactured across the border in Myanmar where most of the refugees originate.

Profits from sales in the sprawling camp in southern Bangladesh are huge, and two rival gangs are battling to gain the lion’s share.

Refugees speaking on condition of anonymity told Reuters that the two groups behind the mayhem are the “Munna” gang, named after a notorious local drug kingpin, and the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa), an armed group that refugees have accused of carrying out kidnappings and attacks.

It was attacks by Arsa on police posts in Myanmar in 2017 that triggered a deadly military crackdown that forced more than over 700,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh.

Reports indicate that police struggling to control the violence arrested 12 people.

The Bangladesh government have sent in troops to support the heavily outgunned police.

Bangladeshi security forces killed more than 100 Rohingya between August 2017 and July this year, according to AFP.

An Amnesty International report has accused Bangladesh authorities of extrajudicial killings, but police are insisting that most of those killed were involved in the drug trade or the trafficking of Rohingya in boats to Malaysia.

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