Fire Destroys Hundreds of Rohingya Refugee Shelters in Bangladesh
A fire in Bangladesh Monday destroyed hundreds of shelters at the Rohingya refugee camp near Cox's Bazar. Thousands of people are now without homes, officials and witnesses said.
Mohammad Shamsud Douza is a top official with the government's Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commission. He said the fire at Balukhali camp broke out late in the day and spread quickly through at least four blocks. He said at least four teams of firefighters were struggling to control the fire.
Louise Donovan, a spokeswoman for the United Nations refugee agency, said in an email that fire services, rescue and emergency workers and volunteers deployed to help.
"So far the fire has affected shelters, health centers, distribution points and other facilities. Volunteers are supporting those affected," she said.
Rohingya refugees in the camps said many homes were burned down and several people had died, but neither officials nor the UN could confirm the reports. The cause of the fire has not been established.
Several videos posted on social media showed large clouds of smoke rising over the camp.
Zaifur Hussein is a 50-year-old Rohingya refugee who escaped the fire but lost his home. He told the Reuters news agency, "When we were in Myanmar we faced lots of problems... they destroyed everything... Now it has happened again."
Bangladesh shelters more than one million Rohingyas. Most fled Myanmar in August 2017 when its military began to attack the minority Muslim population, killing and raping many people and burning whole villages. The U.N. has described the country's action as genocidal. Myanmar denies the accusation.
Bangladesh wants to begin sending the refugees back to Buddhist-majority Myanmar. Several attempts to do so under a joint agreement failed because the Rohingya refused to go. They fear they will face more violence in Myanmar. The country denies them basic rights including citizenship.
In January, a fire also destroyed hundreds of poor, temporary homes in the camp, leaving thousands without shelter.
I'm Caty Weaver.
1. break out （战争、战斗或疾病）爆发；
Fire broke out during the night.
2. burn down 焚毁；（使）烧成平地；
Six months after Bud died, the house burned down.
3. neither...nor... 既不…也不…；
Neither Anna nor I are interested in high finance.
4. describe as 把…说成；把…称为；认为；
The judge described the attack as an abominable crime.
穆罕默德·沙姆苏德·杜扎是孟加拉国政府难民、救济和遣返委员会的高级官员。他表示，当天晚些时候，巴鲁卡里营地发生火灾，火势迅速蔓延了至少四个街区 。他表示，目前至少有四支消防队在努力控制火势 。
孟加拉国收容了100多万名罗兴亚人。2017年8月，缅甸军队开始袭击人口占少数的穆斯林，杀害、强奸了许多人，并将数个村庄整个烧毁，这导致大多数人逃离了缅甸 。联合国称缅甸的行为是种族灭绝 。但缅甸否认这一指控 。
孟加拉国希望将难民送回佛教徒占多数的缅甸。但由于罗兴亚人的拒绝，依据一项联合协议进行的数次尝试都以失败告终 。罗兴亚人担心在缅甸会面临更多暴力 。缅甸剥夺了他们包括公民权在内的基本权利 。