COX’S BAZAR: Bangladesh police killed three people suspected of trying to smuggle 15 Rohingya Muslim refugees to Malaysia in a clash on Tuesday near the South Asian nation’s main refugee camp, an official said, the second such incident in as many months.

Nearly 900,000 Rohingya who fled a military-led crackdown in neighbouring Buddhist-dominated Myanmar in 2017 live in Kutupalong, the world’s largest refugee camp, and other temporary settlements in Bangladesh’s beach town of Cox’s Bazar.

“On sensing the presence of our team, they fired on police, and police also responded,” said Prodip Kumar Das, a police official in the nearby town of Teknaf.

The men attempting to smuggle the refugees, who included some girls, were shot and died on the way to hospital, Das added. The refugees were rescued and sent to two different camps after initial questioning.

The clash, around 30km from Kutupalong, followed a tip-off to police, Das said, adding that they had retrieved three locally-made guns and 15 rounds of ammunition.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2019