Fire destroys 50 shelters in Myanmar camp for displaced - witness

by Reuters
Tuesday, 3 May 2016 06:29 GMT

Rohingya Muslim men ride their bicycles pass a railway line near a refugee camp outside Sitttwe, Rakhine state November 7, 2015. REUTERS/Sai Aung Min

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YANGON, May 3 (Reuters) - A fire destroyed about 50 shelters on Tuesday in a camp for internally displaced people in Myanmar's western Rakhine State, a witness said.

Camps in the area largely house members of the marginalized Rohingya Muslim community, who were displaced following fighting between Buddhists and Muslims in 2012.

The fire broke out at the Baw Du Pha 2 camp near the state capital, Sittwe, according to Khin Maung Myint, 30, who was at the scene.

Firefighters had extinguished the blaze and were treating some injured people, he said. The cause of the fire was not known.

Authorities in the area were not immediately available for comment.

About six families typically live in one of the shelters that were destroyed in the blaze.

Myanmar's Rohingya population is stateless and thousands of them have fled persecution and poverty, often by boat to other parts of Southeast Asia.

Some 125,000 Rohingya remain displaced and face severe travel restrictions while living in camps.

(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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