Friday, Dec 15, 2017 | Last Update : 09:25 PM IST

Bangladesh Islamists call to arm fleeing Rohingyas

AFP
Published : Oct 7, 2017, 6:18 am IST
Updated : Oct 7, 2017, 6:18 am IST

Experts said Bangladeshi Islamist extremist groups could exploit the situation and forge closer ties with Rohingya militants.

Up to 15,000 people joined the demonstrations in Bangladesh’s second largest city, police said, organised by hardline Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam to protest against the killings of the Rohingya. (Photo: AFP)
 Up to 15,000 people joined the demonstrations in Bangladesh’s second largest city, police said, organised by hardline Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam to protest against the killings of the Rohingya. (Photo: AFP)

Chittagong: Thousands of Islamist hardliners marched in Bangladesh’s port city of Chittagong Friday calling for the government to arm Rohingya Muslim refugees fleeing a crackdown in Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state.

Up to 15,000 people joined the demonstrations in Bangladesh’s second largest city, police said, organised by hardline Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam to protest against the killings of the Rohingya. “We demanded a halt to the genocide of the Rohingya,” Hefazat spokesman Azizul Hoque Islamabad said. “We have also asked the government to train and arm the Rohingya so that they can liberate their homeland,” he said. Communities in Chittagong share close cultural, religious and linguistic ties with Rohingyas.

Islamist parties, including Hefazat, have staged several demonstrations over the issue in recent weeks and some firebrand leaders have called on the government to go to war with Myanmar to liberate Rohingyas.

Experts said Bangladeshi Islamist extremist groups could exploit the situation and forge closer ties with Rohingya militants.

The plight of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority who are reviled and denied citizenship in Myanmar, has roused anger across the Islamic world, with protests held in Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The influx has also put Bangladesh under immense strain, with the South Asian country already hosting at least 300,000 Rohingya refugees in squalid camps along its border with Myanmar before the latest surge in arrivals.

Tags: rohingya muslim, hefazat-e-islam