Gunmen killed at least seven people and wounded 20 on Friday in an assault on an Islamic seminary in a Rohingya refugee camp on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, heightening tensions in the settlements after the recent shooting of a community leader, a media report said.
The attackers shot dead some victims and stabbed others with knives, a regional police chief told the AFP news agency on Friday.
Four people were killed instantly in the attack and three others died at a hospital in the Balukhali camp, the agency reported.
“We arrested one attacker immediately after the incident,” Shihab Kaisar Khan, regional chief for an armed police battalion, told reporters.
Police did not say how many people were wounded but a medic with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) who requested anonymity said about 20 people were hurt.
“About 20 seriously injured people came to our hospital, many with no arms, no legs or no eyes. Their condition is very bad. Three of them died,” the doctor told AFP.
Police official Kamran Hossain said “Rohingya miscreants” entered the madrassa before dawn and “randomly hacked and shot people inside”.
Security forces sent reinforcements to immediately seal off the camp, which houses more than 27,000 people. Camp residents shared images on social media of bodies on the floor of the madrassa.
The killings came amid mounting tensions after Rohingya community leader Mohibullah was shot dead outside his office in the sprawling camps three weeks ago.
Many Rohingya activists have gone into hiding or sought protection from the police and UN agencies since the killing of rights advocate Mohib Ullah by unknown assailants in a nearby Balukhali camp.
Following the killing, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said “arrangements will be made to increase security” at the Rohingya camps in the coastal Cox’s Bazar district.
“Manpower and logistical support of law enforcement agencies … will be provided to enhance security,” said Kamal.