Bangladesh expresses alarm as cross-border mortar fire from Myanmar kills Rohingya youth

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A Rohingya teenager was killed and six people were injured after a mortar shell fired by Myanmar exploded in Bangladesh’s territory, marking the latest killing in a spate of violence.

The youth, believed to be 18 years old, was killed after a mortar shell fired by Myanmar landed in a border area near Tumbru known as the Ghumdhum union, effectively a strip of no man’s land between the two countries, on Friday night.

Dil Mohammed, a Rohingya leader in the community where an estimated 4,000 members of the ethnic minority live, confirmed the killing and said Rohingyas in the border area live under an everpresent threat of attack from the Myanmar military.

“We are living here in constant fear. Anytime any catastrophe can happen,” Mr Mohammed told Reuters.

Local authorities said people in the area reported that five mortars were fired at around 8.30pm local time, and of them three exploded, Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper reported.

The man killed was identified as Iqbal Hossain Bari, while a number of others were hurt with serious injuries.

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are caught in the crossfire between Myanmar’s military and the forces of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa), an armed group fighting for self-determination for ethnic minorities in Rakhine state.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled from Myanmar during a military crackdown in 2017 live in overcrowded camps in southern Bangladesh that comprise the world’s largest refugee settlement.

A Bangladesh government official and border guards official said a strong protest would be lodged with Myanmar over the incident.

Earlier in the day, another Bangladeshi youth was injured in a landmine explosion in the Headmanpara border area at Tumbru. The injured man, identified as 22-year-old Athwaing Tangchangya, lost a limb in the blast.

It comes as Dhaka has already issued a statement expressing its deep concern over mortar shells falling inside Bangladesh territory, indiscriminate aerial firing from Myanmar in border areas, and air space violations from Myanmar.

The Myanmar envoy to Dhaka has been summoned three times by the foreign ministry in recent weeks amid a series of incidents.