ARSA member hacked to death in Ukhiya Rohingya refugee camp

A Rohingya Muslim refugee performs ablution before offering prayer at Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia on 13 October 2020.AFP

A member of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) was beaten and hacked to death during an attack on Balukhali shelter camp in Ukhiya Upazila of Cox's Bazar. Three other people were shot by ARSA at the time. The incident took place in the G-1 block of Balukhali-13 Rohingya shelter camp in Ukhiya on Saturday night.

The deceased ARSA member was not identified immediately. The three people who were shot are Ramida Khatun, mother of Hossain Ahmed of G-1 block in Ukhia Balukhali-13 Rohingya shelter camp and Hossain’s two sons Rafiq, 25 and Zubair, 18.

According to police and Rohingya witnesses, 20 to 25 ARSA members operating under ARSA Commander Hafez Zobair and Nurul Haque launched an attack on G-1 block of Balukhali-13 Rohingya shelter camp at around 2.30 am yesterday. They fired 10 to 15 rounds of bullets. At this time, the Rohingya people of the shelter camp surrounded the ARSA members from all sides.

At one point, the angry Rohingyas beat and hacked an unidentified ARSA member to death. At this time, the mother and two sons of Rohingya boatman Hossain Ahmed of G-1 block were shot dead by ARSA members. They are being treated at BRAC hospital in the refugee camp. Police recovered the body of the ARSA member from the spot.

Officer-in-charge (OC) of Ukhiya Police Station Sheikh Mohammad Ali said that the police recovered the body of an unidentified member of ARSA from the Rohingya refugee camp. The body has been sent to Cox's Bazar Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy. Three people who were shot during the attack are undergoing treatment in the hospital. The legal process over the incident is underway.

According to data provided by the police and Rohingya leaders, at least 41 people have died in multiple clashes and shootings in Rohingya refugee camps in the past five and a half months. Among them, 15 are Rohingya boatmen, 11 ARSA members, 1 volunteer and others are general Rohingya.