Five die in clashes in Bangladesh's Chittagong Hill Tracts

Five die in clashes in Bangladesh's Chittagong Hill Tracts

The army was called in after houses in several villages besides a church, a pagoda and an office of a UN-funded project were set on fire. A statue of Lord Buddha installed at the Banani Buddhist Monastery was damaged and another statue was looted, New Age newspaper said Sunday.

At one point during the clash, the military personnel started firing indiscriminately, according to the newspaper's correspondent in Khagrachari who quoted eyewitnesses.
Bangladesh's only district having a significant Buddhist population has witnessed clashes between the locals and those settled there as part of a policy to retain hold of the restive area.

Dipankar Talukdar, the minister for Chittagong Hill Tracts that is home to the minority indigenous people, could not enter the remote Gangaram Mukhi area of Bagaichhari upazila (sub-district), Star Online, website of The Daily Star said.
The indigenous people, however, claimed the number of those killed was at least six.

Locals recovered the bullet-ridden bodies of Budhaboti Chakma, 32, and Laxmi Bijoy Chakma, 35, from a village Sunday morning.
Seven people, including an army person, were injured in Saturday's incident, which followed an attack Friday night allegedly by a group of Bangalee settlers on the indigenous people over land dispute.

The settlers set fire to 40 houses of indigenous families Friday night. They burnt 160 more houses in 11 villages Saturday morning.
The efforts of the Sheikh Hasina government to withdraw army camps from the region are being resisted by the settlers who demand protection from the tribals.

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