Fire destroys 250 homes at refugee camp in Dhaka | india | Hindustan Times
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Fire destroys 250 homes at refugee camp in Dhaka

india Updated: Jul 27, 2006 18:08 IST
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A fire raged through a refugee camp in the Bangladesh capital on Thursday, killing at least one person and destroying about 250 homes, a fire official said.

At least 20 people were also injured.

The fire broke out at Dhaka's Mirpur residential district, but it destroyed the camp, where more than 1,000 Urdu-speaking refugees live, fire official Nasrin Akter said.

A 22-year-old man was killed, and firefighters later recovered his charred body from the wreckage, Akter said, adding that it was not clear how the fire started.

Firefighters took about two hours to bring the fire under control, she said.

Haroon-ur-Rashid, a spokesman for the refugees, told the agency by telephone that about 300 people had lost all their possessions.

The camp is one of the country's 66 crammed shelters where about 250,000 Urdu-speaking people live.

About 500,000 Urdu-speaking people came to what was then East Pakistan from the Indian state of Bihar after the creation of Pakistan and India in 1947 following the end of British colonial rule in the subcontinent.

But in 1971, when East Pakistan gained independence through a bloody war and was renamed Bangladesh, the refugees decided to be resettled in Pakistan.

Pakistani government took about 250,000 refugees but then halted the process in 1993. The remaining refugees became stranded in Bangladesh.