The fire that broke out on March 5 at Camp 11 (Balukhali Camp) in Cox's Bazar city in Bangladesh, home to more than 1 million Rohingya Muslims, most of whom fled military operations in Myanmar in 2017, was declared a "planned act of sabotage".
Abu Sufian, a senior regional government official who is chairman of the seven-member investigative committee, told the press that "the fire was a planned act of sabotage", adding that the fire broke out in several places at the same time, proving that it was a planned action.
Stating that the report was based on the testimonies of 150 eyewitnesses, Sufian added that the fire was a deliberate attempt by militant groups to establish dominance in the camps.
In its report, the committee also recommended the establishment of a separate fire department for refugee camps.
In the fire that broke out in Balukhali Camp on March 5, nearly 2,800 houses and more than 90 facilities, including hospitals and training centers, were destroyed and more than 12 thousand people were left homeless. No one was killed or injured in the fire.
On the other hand, fires often break out in crowded camps with makeshift structures. At least 15 refugees died in a massive fire in March 2021, and more than 10,000 homes were burned to ashes.