Three Rohingya reported killed by suspected mine in Myanmar

Rohingya Muslim refugees walk towards a temporary location to build a makeshift shelter, after crossing the border from Myanamar, near the Bangladeshi town of Teknaf on Sept 10, 2017.
Rohingya Muslim refugees walk towards a temporary location to build a makeshift shelter, after crossing the border from Myanamar, near the Bangladeshi town of Teknaf on Sept 10, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

COX'S BAZAR, BANGLADESH (AFP) - A suspected landmine planted near the Bangladesh border has killed three Rohingya villagers fleeing violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state, a Bangladesh border official quoted a survivor as saying.

Border Guard Bangladesh commander Lieutenant Colonel Manzurul Hasan Khan told AFP that troops had heard the blast Saturday (Sept 9) night about 100m from the border.

"We learnt from the injured survivor that they were four of them. The survivor said the other three died on the spot in an explosion - likely an anti-personnel mine," Khan told AFP.

He said border guards saw the survivor coming to the demarcation line with multiple injuries to his body and face.

Another Rohingya was injured by a suspected mine in the same place after he had returned to his village to retrieve his cows and bring them to Bangladesh.

Last week two Rohingya including a child had their legs blown off and another person was injured after they stepped onto suspected mines near the border Bangladesh on Wednesday summoned Myanmar's ambassador to protest at the planting of landmines along the border.

Aid groups and Bangladesh government officials say they have been planted to deter fleeing members of the minority Rohingya community from returning to Myanmar.

It is the second time Dhaka has summoned the ambassador since an upsurge of violence in Rakhine state triggered a refugee crisis, with 294,000 people flooding across the border since Aug 25.

Amnesty International said Saturday that Myanmar security forces planted the mines, which are banned internationally.

Based on interviews with witnesses and analysis by its experts, Amnesty said there appeared to be a targeted use of landmines along a narrow stretch of the northwestern border with Rakhine state.

"This is another low in what is already a horrific situation in Rakhine state," said Tirana Hassan, Amnesty's Crisis Response Director, who is currently near the border.

"The Myanmar military's callous use of inherently indiscriminate and deadly weapons at highly trafficked paths around the border is putting the lives of ordinary people at enormous risk," she added.