Mortar fired from Myanmar kills Rohingya youth in Bangladesh

More than a million Rohingya live in camps in southern Bangladesh that comprise the world’s largest refugee settlements.

A Rohingya teenage was killed and at least six people were injured when a mortar shell fired from Myanmar exploded inside Bangladesh territory, local officials and a Rohingya leader said.

The youth was killed by a mortar blast late on Friday, said Dil Mohammed, a Rohingya leader in an area designated as no-man’s land – a strip of land along the Myanmar-Bangladesh border where an estimated 4,000 Rohingya live.

“We are living here in constant fear. Anytime any catastrophe can happen,” Mohammed told Reuters on Saturday.

Local media in Bangladesh said that people in the area reported that five mortars were fired from Myanmar territory and three exploded at approximately 20:30 local time (14:30 GMT) on Friday night.

The victim was identified by Bangladesh’s The Daily Star newspaper as Iqbal Hossain Bari (18). Four Bangladesh nationals were also injured, according to the news organisation.

A Bangladesh government and border guard official said that strong protests would be lodged with Myanmar over the incident.

More than a million Rohingya are living in makeshift camps in southern Bangladesh that comprise the world’s largest refugee settlement, the vast majority having fled from Myanmar during a military crackdown in 2017.

The Rohingya have also been caught in the crossfire between Myanmar’s military and the Arakan Army, an armed group who are fighting for self-determination for ethnic minorities in Rakhine state.

Bangladesh this month issued a statement expressing serious concern over mortar shells landing inside Bangladesh territory, as well as “indiscriminate aerial firing from Myanmar in the bordering areas, and air space violation from Myanmar”.

The Myanmar envoy in Dhaka has been summoned three times in recent weeks and the concerns of the Bangladesh government have been expressed.