Mother watches her two sons die

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Publication Date: 16 September, 2017
Media: The Independent 

SHAMSUDDIN ILLIUS from Shahporirdwip

Ambia Khatun, 60, wife of Nur Islam, fled from Kaindapara of Mungdaw. She had lost her husband long ago. Two of her sons were shot dead by Myanmar’s security forces and another was picked up by the military. At 8pm on August 31, the honking of military vehicles made her get up. Armed people and soldiers entered the house, saying they are looking for “insurgents”.

“Armed local youths started looting our valuables. When my sons tried to stop them, the military shot two of them—Md Harun, 30 and Md Abdur Rahman, 25. While we tried to take the bodies, the soldiers started to beat us with sticks. They forcefully took us out and set fire to our home. We hid in a nearby bush,” said Ambia. She manged to cross the border after 12 days and reached Shahporirdwip.

“They picked up another son, Nur Mohammad, 20. We do not know what happened to him. I could not bury my two sons. Leaving their bodies on the yard, we were forced to leave. We heard that their bodies were burnt in the fire,” she said.

Ambia reached Bangladesh with her four daughters, Nur Khatun, 16, Minuarar Begum,14, Nur Begum,13, and Chhenowara Begum, 12.

“My brothers were rickshaw-pullers. Now, we have no earning member in the family,” said Nur Khatun. They were found waiting at Hariakhali of Shahporirdwip. They could not come to Teknaf as they did not have money. Later, some local volunteers paid their fare.

Another woman, Nurnahar, 80, wife of Abul Hossain, fled from Rajarbeel in Maungdaw. She was waiting with her only daughter, two grandsons and son-in-law at Hariakhali.

“At this age, I had to flee my home. Doesn’t Allah hear our prayers? We had to hide in a bush for 10 days without food and water. We hardly get food here,” she said.

Visiting different border points, it was seen that Rohingyas are still crossing the border in thousands. About 400,000 Rohingyas have already taken shelter in Bangladesh and the number keeps going up.###

Shamsuddin Illius
Shamsuddin Illius is a print and online media journalist. He has been working in the field (fulltime) of journalism since 2010. He is very much passionate about journalism since his early age. Currently he is the Bureau Chief-Chittagong at The Business Standard.

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