Second Rohingya killed in suspected landmine blast near Bangladesh border

Dhaka (AFP) –


A Rohingya man was killed by a suspected landmine blast along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, officials said Monday, the second such incident this month.

Nearly one million Rohingya live in camps in southeast Bangladesh after fleeing a military crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine state, with some believed to use the porous border to travel back home.

Dhaka has previously accused Myanmar security forces of planting mines along the frontier to prevent the refugees from returning -- a charge Myanmar rejects.

A loud explosion was heard early Monday at Ghumdum border area, although the blast appeared to come from inside Myanmar, Border Guard Bangladesh regional commander Ali Haider Azad Ahmed told AFP.

"Our men heard the sound which was apparently of a landmine blast. The man's body was lying near the border," he told AFP.

Officials said the victim was Abdul Majid, a refugee in his 20s from Kutupalong, the world's largest refugee camp, in the Bangladesh district of Cox's Bazar.

A Rohingya community leader who lives in the tiny strip of no man's land in a small settlement of 4,000 of the stateless minority, said it took place near their makeshift homes.

"This is very frightening for us," Dil Mohammad told AFP.

Myanmar troops have been accused of waging an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Muslim minority, with some 740,000 fleeing to Bangladesh since August 2017.

At the height of the mass exodus when tens of thousands of Rohingya poured into Bangladesh every day, several were killed or seriously hurt in suspected landmine explosions along the border.

Rights groups Amnesty International said then it had documented what appeared to be the targeted use of landmines along a narrow stretch forming part of the northwestern border of Rakhine.

Anti-personnel mines were banned under a global treaty in 1997.