Suffered bullet injury in fighting to free own region: Rohingya youth

Barbed wire fencing along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Tumbru, BandarbanProthom Alo

A Rohingya youth, Mohib Ullah, suffered bullet injuries while fighting with the Myanmar army on the Ghumdhum-Tumbru border at Naikhangchhari in Bandarban on Wednesday. In the day-long gunfight, he lost his associate Hamidullah. Both are members of the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO).  

Trained in using AK-47 and M-16 rifles, Muhib Ullah, 23, went inside the Myanmar border to fight against the Myanmar army. He sustained bullet injuries in his leg, right hand and under his chest to the right side of his body. He is now undergoing treatment at the surgery department of Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH).      

The physicians said his condition is now stable as the bullet in his chest was removed through surgery on Thursday. The youth needs another surgery in his hand.

On a spot visit, it was seen Mohib Ullah was lying on the hospital bed with bandages in right hand and on the right side of his chest. Mohib Ullah said, "We went to free our region. A team of 85 has been fighting against the Myanmar government since 2018. At times, we lock in firing with the Myanmar army."  

His hometown is Maungdaw, claimed the member of the insurgent group adding that his home was burned to ashes in 2017.  Then his family, consisting of parents and siblings, fled to Teknaf and started living in Jadimura camp. He is the third youngest child among four of Dildar Ahmed. He learnt English and went to Myanmar four years ago to fight against the army.  

Mohib Ullah said, "They torched our houses and we went there for revenge. All of our team members can wield arms. We have many weapons including AK-47, M-16. We used to live in the jungles of Myanmar and have food and drink there."

He claimed to be a member of RSO but did not disclose any information about his leaders and instructors.

The Rohingya youth said the Arakan Army clashed with the RSO members since Tuesday night. But local sources said the firing took place between RSO and Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) members. 

Mohib Ullah said the firing began between two groups on Tuesday night inside Myanmar border.

"At a stage, we surrounded them. I was equipped with an AK-47 rifle. Later, I was shot at around 6:00am after the Azan of Fajr prayer. At the same time, one of the associates – Hamidullah – was shot and died."

Mohib Ullah was first taken to Kutupalong Health Center and later to CMCH.

Md Shakil, his brother-in-law, told Prothom Alo that they came to Teknaf from Maungdaw in 2017. A year later, Mohib Ullah left for Myanmar to join the fight. They were informed after he had sustained bullet injuries on Wednesday. Later, they took him to the hospital. 

Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of CMCH police outpost Alauddin Talukder said that Mohib Ullah underwent surgery yesterday after being taken to the hospital.

There has been tension along the Tambru border after Rohingya homes were set on fire at the zero line on Wednesday.

Naikhangchhari Upazila Nirbahi Officer Romen Sharma told Prothom Alo that the BGB as well as other forces and individuals concerned has no authority to interfere along the zero line. So, the actual situation of the spot is yet to be learnt. 

However, it seems as per available information that around 550 houses were burnt in the shelter camp in Wednesday's incident while 70 to 80 houses still remained intact, he added.