At least 1,500 homes were destroyed in southeastern Bangladesh after a fire swept through a Rohingya refugee camp and gutted shanties of the displaced community on Sunday, rendering thousands of people homeless, officials said.

Believed to have started in Camp 16 in Cox’s Bazar, the fire was seen engulfing swathes of land in the district where more than a million Rohingya refugees are temporarily homed. The world’s largest refugee camp has been their safe haven since they fled a military-led crackdown in Myanmar in 2017.

Videos of the incident shared on social media showed hundreds of houses and roofs engulfed by flames, billowing thick grey clouds of smoke as people fled their houses. Many bystanders were seen just metres away from the fire trying to douse it.

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