Bangladesh: Fatal human trafficking shootout disputed

Traffickers and coast guard both blamed as five killed and scores wounded in shootout on trawler taking passengers to Malaysia illegally

Bangladesh: Fatal human trafficking shootout disputed

World Bulletin/News Desk

At least five Bangladeshis have been killed and more than 50 injured in a disputed incident in the Bay of Bengal as they illegally tried to make their way by trawler to Malaysia.

Bangladesh Coast Guard station commander Lieutenant Quzi Harun-ar-Rashid told the Anadolu Agency that three people had been killed and hundreds of passengers rescued after one reported trafficker had opened fire on the vessel.

The incident happened shortly before noon on Wednesday near the border with Myanmar, about 10 km from Saint Martins Island, he said.

One passenger, who gave his name at Mithun, said the locally made trawler had been carrying about 300 people and was among a flotilla of four vessels which had set sail about 12 days ago in a bid to reach Malaysia. 

'Passengers stabbed'

He said passengers called relatives over their mobile phones after they came under attack from the traffickers.

Passenger Ziaur Rahman said the traffickers put them on board the Thai trawler Sunday, but it did not set sail for three days.

He said that after the passengers became angry and called for the vessel to be launched, the traffickers opened fire and began stabbing people with knives and sharp weapons, leaving five dead and dozens injured.

However, other sources said that Myanmar's coastguards had opened fire on them, killing five on the spot and leaving more than 100 injured.

The Bangladesh Coast Guard brought the trawler to Saint Martins on Wednesday evening.

Last Mod: 12 Haziran 2014, 12:39
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