Two Rohingya refugees were killed in a reported gunfight between a gang of robbers and Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) members at Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar on March 12.The incident occurred on the Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf Marine Drive road in Baharachhara Union’s Shamalpur, said Company Commander ASP Shah Alam of RAB-15 Ramu Battalion’s Howaikyang camp.
The dead men have been identified as Nur Kamal, 34, and Saiful Islam, 38. Nur was a member of a robbery gang called the ‘Jakir group’, of which Saiful was the second-in-command, according to the elite police unit.
They took refuge in Bangladesh after fleeing from Myanmar about 25 years ago and had been staying outside a refugee camp for a long time, the RAB officer said.
When the team received information about the gang’s movements, they turned up at the spot at 11:30 p.m., and the suspected robbers opened fire on them. They were forced to retaliate by firing back, which triggered a gunfight.
After half an hour of gunfire, the robbers retreated and ran away, said the officer.
Later, RAB members found two men with gunshot wounds.
They were initially taken to Teknaf Upazila Health Complex, but doctors referred them to Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital as their condition was critical.
However, they died on the way to Cox’s Bazar, said the commander.
Later the bodies were sent to Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy.
RAB officials reported that RAB members Habildar Khairul Islam, Assistant Sub-inspector Mahi Abu Kaisar and Sergeant Homyun Kabir were also injured during the fight.
The RAB personnel also seized a pistol, a gun and 11 cartridges from the spot.
A case was filed with the Teknaf police over this incident.
Within the past year, a total of 79 Rohingyas have been killed in gunfights with law enforcement agencies over various charges including drug dealing, robbery and human trafficking since January 1, 2019.