Elephant kills child, injures dozens in Rohingya refugee camp
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Elephant kills child, injures dozens in Rohingya refugee camp

AN elephant trampling at the Kutupalong-Balukhali refugee camp in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district has left one child dead and dozens injured, the New York Times reported.

Videos posted to Twitter by documentary filmmaker Shafiur Rahman show the large mammal tearing through the camp where more than half a million Rohingya refugees call home.

In another video, Shafiur tweeted: “Elephants in Kutupalong refugee camp today. These events are becoming more frequent.”

Last October, a woman and three young children, were killed when an elephant stormed their residence at the camp, where they had taken shelter in after fleeing violence in their home country Burma.

The New York Times noted there have been numerous reports of trampling deaths at the camp, which is located close to an elephant sanctuary.

SEE ALSO: Malaysia: Elephants lost 70pc of territory to human encroachment – study

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Kutupalong Camp lies along a migration route for endangered Asian elephants travelling between Burma and Bangladesh.

In recent months, this close proximity is pitting humanitarian needs against conservation efforts for the elephants in the area.

“Behaviourally, elephants always follow their traditional routes and corridors for regular movement,” the conservation union said in a statement. “If they find any obstacles within it, they try to break it.”

The incident is the latest blow for members of the Muslim ethnic group from Burma.

Last year, a brutal military crackdown forced hundreds of thousands to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh – more than half a million are now seeking refuge at Kutupalong, data from the United Nations’ migration agency show.

Deemed a textbook case of ethnic cleansing by the United Nations, survivors recall unspeakable terror inflicted on their community, including opening fire on civilians, rape and sexual assault against its women and destruction of villages.

SEE ALSO: Rohingya refugees face ‘humanitarian crisis within the crisis’

This month, the international agency warned of an impending hazard the coming monsoon season would spring on the refugees, who are already facing squalid living conditions in the overcrowded camp.

The monsoon season could flood camps and cause diseases to spread, United Nations Security Council diplomats warned, a situation which would cause the Rohingya refugees “a humanitarian crisis within the crisis”.

United Nations high commissioner for refugees Filippo Grandi said they are now in a “race against time” to relocate tens of thousands of particularly vulnerable Rohingyas living in areas prone to flooding and landslides.

“Their lives are greatly at risk,” Grandi said.

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