Observers fear the death toll will rise as a result of a huge fire that broke out in a Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
So far, it has been confirmed that seven people have been killed, while tens of thousands of camp residents have been displaced to flee from burning death.
The International Refugee Organization quoted eyewitnesses as saying that the barbed wire fences that border the camp left its residents trapped, including children.
Cox’s Bazar camp is a haven for more than a million refugees who were displaced from Myanmar in 2017.
Aid groups estimate that the fire has damaged between 40,000 and 50,000 camp residents.
And many of those who lived in the sector that was destroyed by the fire in the camp resorted to other nearby sectors, friends or educational centers, according to the World Food Program, which reported burning a number of its outlets.
An official in the camp’s fire service told the BBC that smoke was still rising from many places despite the control of the fire.
Thousands of homes have been reduced to ashes.
Eyewitnesses told the BBC that the fire that broke out on Monday engulfed the Gaza Strip with terrible speed.
Moina Khatun said the fire suddenly started from the south.
She added, “At first I thought that they would put it out, so I did not bring my belongings from inside the house. When the fire intensified, I resorted to a nearby garden. I have never seen fire with this ferocity in my life.”
“Thousands of homes have been reduced to ashes,” said Syed Allam, a resident of the camp.
“My son’s wife is pregnant. I sold gold to be hospitalized. All my money has burned. And here is my son’s wife,” she told the BBC.
“The Rohingya refugees were not lacking in more dire incidents, after what they had witnessed over the past two years.
The Cox’s Bazar camp on fire is the largest of its kind in the world. The camp houses more than a million Rohingya who were displaced from Myanmar as the army launched a campaign against them.
Rohingya Muslims are a minority in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, and have suffered persecution for generations.
The last wave of Rohingya exodus to Bangladesh began in August 2017, following a brutal campaign launched by the Myanmar army against them. The army said at the time that the campaign was in response to attacks against police stations in the country by armed groups of Rohingya.