Hundreds of Bangladeshi families flee amid border shelling from Myanmar
Shells from Myanmar landed inside Bangladesh’s Lemuchhari and Bahirmath areas on Saturday, violating the border, locals claimed as they were asked to evacuate.
A fresh spell of heavy shelling from Myanmar along the hilly Bandarban border district of Bangladesh has created panic among people forcing hundreds of families to flee for safety.
Heavy shelling is going on in the Myanmar territory near Bangladesh's border in an area of about 20 kilometres (over 12 miles), locals said on Saturday.
Over 150 families in the border area left for a safe place on Saturday night as border tensions escalated due to heavy shelling, Nurul Absar, chairman of Naikhongchhari Sadar Union of the district, told local media.
Salma Ferdous, a local official, told Anadolu Agency that families along the border have been asked to evacuate after shelling started on Saturday noon and continued till evening. She, however, claimed that the situation on Sunday morning remained stable.
The border posts of the Myanmar border guards in the area have been occupied by the insurgent group Arakan Army (AA) for several days.
The Myanmar forces are busy fighting the rebels along the border with neighbouring Bangladesh.
According to official records and media reports, in the last two months at least two Rohingya have been killed and nearly one dozen others, including some Bangladeshi nationals, injured by mortars fired by Myanmar’s forces from across the border.
Bangladesh currently hosts over 1.2 million persecuted Rohingya on a large hilly forest site in Cox’s Bazar, after the refugees fled a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar in August 2017.
Despite repeated calls from Bangladesh, Myanmar has yet to show any sign of mitigating the escalating situation on the border.