Christians attacked in Bangladesh refugee camp

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Rohingya refugees walk inside Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh January 8, 2018. © 2018 Reuters

Christians remain a target of Muslim extremists in the world, as evidenced by an attack on Rohingya Christian families at the Kutupalong Maga refugee camp in Bangladesh last week. The day after the violence, 25 Christian families comprising 70 people were moved to a different, UNHCR camp.

Nirmol Rozario, president of the Bangladesh Christian Association, called the attack “a very sad episode,” when speaking to AsiaNews. The association is planning to visit the families that were moved.

Although the cause of the incident is not known, one of the Christian refugees, Saiful Islam Peter, said that intolerance against “the Christian faith” was the cause.

The attack has been blamed on members of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), who “destroyed our homes and church,” Peter said. Some 12 people were reportedly wounded in the attack, eight requiring hospitalization.

Police characterized the violence as an “ordinary law-and-order incident”, noting that only four Christians and one Muslim suffered injuries.

At present, more than 740,000 refugees are living in tents in various camps in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, in particular that of Kutupalong, on the border with Myanmar. They fled Myanmar after violence broke out pinning the Myanmar military and ARSA fighters in August 2017.

In addition to the 25 Christian families in Kutupalong, 444 Hindu families have also relocated to the Ukhia camp.

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