World

Wild elephants trample four Rohingya refugees to death

COX'S BAZAR 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 in 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, sparking environmental concerns, as the country struggles to accommodate an unprecedented number of people.

Four refugees from neighbouring tents were injured and in critical condition at a hospital in Cox's Bazar, the town's additional Superintendent of Police Afrujul Hoque Totul told Reuters.

Mr Abdul Sukoor, 30, whose tent on the edge of the camp was trampled, said he and his family escaped when they heard the screams of other refugees as the elephants approached. He is moving to a tent deeper in the camp but is still worried.

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. - REUTERS

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