In a dramatic turn of events, at least 95 members of the Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP), including some with bullet wounds, have fled to Bangladesh as clashes between rebel forces and the junta regime escalate. The fleeing guards crossed the border into Bangladesh’s southeastern district of Cox’s Bazar, where a significant population of Muslim minorities from Myanmar sought refuge in 2017.
Shariful Islam, spokesperson for Border Guard Bangladesh, reported that the BGP members entered Bangladesh carrying weapons, with 15 of them sustaining bullet wounds. The wounded individuals received medical treatment at various hospitals, highlighting the severity of the ongoing conflict.
The junta, which seized power in a coup against the elected government in 2021, is grappling with a formidable rebellion. Anti-junta groups, supported by a pro-democracy parallel government, have successfully taken control of military posts and towns, posing a substantial challenge to the ruling regime.
The reverberations of the conflict are palpable, with gunfire audible across the Myanmar border in Cox’s Bazar. This area, a popular tourist destination, is home to nearly one million Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar in 2017 to escape a military crackdown.
Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, Bangladesh’s refugee relief and repatriation commissioner in Cox’s Bazar, revealed plans to temporarily house the fleeing BGP troops in transit camps in the nearby district of Bandarban. These camps, originally constructed for repatriating Rohingya refugees, currently stand empty.
Tragically, the violence has spilled over into Bangladesh territory, claiming at least two lives. A Bangladeshi woman and a Rohingya individual lost their lives, and a child sustained injuries when mortar shells from Myanmar landed near the border.
Mohammad Shamsud Douza, the deputy Bangladesh government official overseeing refugees, noted the impact on local residents, stating that many have sought refuge with relatives further away due to the escalating violence.
Panic has also gripped refugee camps within Myanmar, where residents are anxiously awaiting an opportunity to cross into Bangladesh. The ongoing conflict has disrupted supply chains, leaving many without basic necessities and living in constant fear.
Rohingya refugee Oli Hossain expressed the prevailing sense of unease, saying, “Now and then, we hear the sound of gunshots from Myanmar. Some Rohingya Muslims want to flee here as they are living in constant fear without basic needs. Even we are living in fear because of the sound of gunshots.”
As the situation unfolds, the international community closely watches the escalating crisis, urging diplomatic efforts to bring about a peaceful resolution and ensure the safety and well-being of those affected by the conflict.
Sources By Agencies