Rohingya refugee leader shot dead in Bangladesh camp

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DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Unidentified miscreants opened fire on a prominent leader of the Rohingya refugees, leaving him dead in a camp in Bangladesh, a police official said Wednesday.

Naimul Haque, an commander of the Armed Police Battalion in Cox’s Bazar, said in a statement that the gun attack on Mohibullah took place at the Kutupalong refugee camp at Ukhiya in Cox’s Bazar district late Wednesday. Doctors in hospital declared him dead after he was rushed there. He is known by his one name.

No groups claimed responsibility and it was not clear immediately who was behind the attack.

Mohibullah, a teacher turned rights activist, emerged as a key Rohingya refugee leader and a spokesman representing the refugees from neighboring Myanamr in international meetings. The 50-year-old came to Bangladesh in 2017 when about 700,000 refugees fled Myanamr amid violence allegedly perpetrated by Myanmar soldiers.

In 2019, he represented the refugees on a visit to the White House for a meeting with then-U.S. President Donald Trump on religious freedom, where he raised points about the sufferings and persecution faced by the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. But he was bitterly criticized by Bangladeshi media the same year after he led a massive rally of 200,000 refugees to commemorate the second anniversary of the crackdown by Myanmar’s military.

About 700,000 Rohingya fled to the camps in Cox’s Bazar after August 2017, when the military in Buddhist-majority Myanmar began a harsh crackdown on the Muslim group following an attack by insurgents. The crackdown included rapes, killings and the torching of thousands of homes, and was termed ethnic cleansing by global rights groups and the U.N.

The Associated Press

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