Wild elephants trample to death four Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh | world news | Hindustan Times
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Wild elephants trample to death four Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Wild elephants trampled sleeping Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh in the early hours of Saturday

world Updated: Oct 14, 2017 23:07 IST
Rohingya refugees walk back after collecting health and sanitation aid at the Balukhali refugee camp in the Bangladeshi district of Ukhia on October 14, 2017.
Rohingya refugees walk back after collecting health and sanitation aid at the Balukhali refugee camp in the Bangladeshi district of Ukhia on October 14, 2017.(AFP Photo)

Wild elephants trampled sleeping Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh in the early hours of Saturday, killing three children and a woman in the second such incident since the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Myanmar in just a few weeks.

Many trees on the forested hills of Balukhali in southern Bangladesh, where the incident took place, have been chopped down to house the massive influx of Rohingya Muslims escaping violence in neighbouring Myanmar.

Tarpaulin and bamboo shelters have been built on elephant walkways in some areas, sparking environmental concerns, as the country struggles to accommodate an unprecedented number of people.

Besides those killed, four refugees from neighbouring tents were injured and were in critical condition at Sadar Hospital in Cox’s Bazar, the town’s additional superintendent of police Afrujul Hoque Totul told Reuters.

At the refugee camp, cooking utensils the family had brought from Myanmar lay crushed under a jumble of bamboo sticks and clothes.

Abdul Sukoor, 30, whose tent on the edge of the camp was also trampled, said he and his family managed to escape when they heard the screams of other refugees as the elephants approached.

He is now moving to a tent further inside the camp, but said he was still worried. “We have to be constantly alert at night,” he said.

More than 530,000 refugees from Myanmar have fled to Bangladesh over the last two months since attacks by Rohingya militants on security posts triggered a Myanmar army operation that the United Nations has described as ethnic cleansing.