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Rohingya militant group blames ‘unidentified criminals’ for leader’s death

On Friday, a militant group accusing ‘unidentified criminals’ of killing a popular Rohingya leader in a Bangladesh refugee camp said it was ‘shocked and saddened’ by his death. Mohib Ullah was shot dead late Wednesday in a camp in east Bangladesh, one of the refugee camps for more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing a 2017 military crackdown in Myanmar.

As a result of his growing popularity in the camps, activists said he had received death threats from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). His brother has openly accused ARSA of his murder. However, an ARSA tweet on Friday claimed Mohib Ullah had been killed by an unidentified terror group. As the statement concludes, it is time for the criminals to face consequences instead of finger-pointing with baseless and heavy accusations. According to the AFP, the group has not responded to requests for comment.

Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, called for an ‘immediate, thorough, and independent investigation’ into the killing. Bangladesh police said a 28-year-old Rohingya man has been arrested over the murder. ‘I don’t know if he is a member of ARSA,’ said commanding officer Naimul Haque to AFP. More information will be provided after the interrogation.

In 2017, the group was responsible for attacks on Myanmar security posts, as well as attacks against Hindus in Rohingya villages in the country’s western Rakhine province. Mahib Ullah founded the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights, a group that documented atrocities allegedly committed against Rohingya by the Myanmar military during its 2017 offensive.

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Hundreds of thousands of the majority Muslim minority fled to Bangladesh following the military crackdown, where they are still living in squalid refugee camps four years later. He rose to prominence after his group organized a rally on the second anniversary of the crackdown, which was attended by an estimated 200,000 Rohingya. Mohib Ullah also met then US President Donald Trump at the White House during a meeting on religious freedom that year and spoke at a UN Human Rights meeting in Geneva. Approximately 25,000 people attended his funeral prayers at the main Kutupalong camp on Thursday, police said. According to a Rohingya leader, Nazir Hossain, there are 200,000 of them.


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