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Rohingya refugee death highlights Myanmar mine use

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Rohingya refugees walk past a camp in Kutupalong in the Bangladeshi district of Ukhia. AFP/File

Rohingya refugee death highlights Myanmar mine use

A Rohingya boy from a refugee camp in Bangladesh has been killed by a landmine inside Myanmar, camp leaders said on Saturday, in a case that highlighted the country’s refusal to implement an international ban.

More than 160 countries have signed up to a treaty banning landmines, and a monitor group has said Myanmar forces are the only ones known to have deployed mines last year.

Mohammad Zaber, 13, who lived in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, died on Friday in an explosion after going fishing with friends on the border, community leader Dil Mohammad said.

A Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) official confirmed the incident took place inside Myanmar. The International Campaign to Ban Landmines has said Myanmar – which has refused to sign the 1997 ban treaty – was the only country where the use of new antipersonnel mines had been documented in recent years.

Many Rohingya were killed or wounded by mines in 2017 when a military crackdown on the persecuted Muslim group led to an exodus of more than 740,000 people from Myanmar’s Rakhine state into Bangladesh.

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