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Fire hits crowded Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh

A massive fire has raced through a crammed refugee camp for Rohingya Muslims in southern Bangladesh, leaving thousands of people homeless.

No casualties were reported immediately on Sunday at Balukhali camp in Cox's Bazar district, said Emdadul Haque, a fire service official.

The UNHCR in Bangladesh said in a tweet that Rohingya refugee volunteers were responding to the fire with the agency and its partners providing support. It provided no further details.

More than one million Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar over several decades, including about 740,000 who crossed the border starting in August 2017, when the Myanmar military launched a brutal crackdown.

Conditions in Myanmar has worsened since a military takeover in 2021, and attempts to send them back have failed.

Last year, the United States said the oppression of Rohingya in Myanmar amounts to genocide after US authorities confirmed accounts of mass atrocities against civilians by the military in a systematic campaign against the ethnic minority.

Muslim Rohingya face widespread discrimination in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where most are denied citizenship and many other rights.