Thousands of Rohingya refugees flee after fire engulfs Bangladesh camp

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A huge blaze that engulfed a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh has forced at least 50,000 people to flee, with seven feared dead, in the biggest fire to hit the shanty settlement to date, officials and aid workers said.

The fire in Cox’s Bazar, has destroyed shelters and health centres,  according to reports from the camps, as many were left scrambling to recover their possessions.

The camp is part of a network of camps in mainland Bangladesh, home to over a million refugees who have fled Myanmar since 2017.

The United Nations have sent a delegation on a three-day visit to the remote island of Bhasan Char, where the Bangladeshi government has developed a housing facility for 100,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees.

Since December, Bangladesh has already moved more than 13,000 refugees to the remote island of Bhasan Char, where the government has developed a housing facility for 100,000 refugees, despite criticism from rights groups and reservations from aid agencies.

Government officials said the relocation is voluntary, but some of a first group to be moved spoke of being coerced.

They dismissed safety concerns over the island, citing the building of flood defences as well as housing for 100,000 people, hospitals and cyclone centres.

It also says overcrowding in refugee camps fuels crime, while some Rohingya said frequent violence in the camps had driven them to relocate. (Sources: BBC/The Guardian/CNA)

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