Rohingya lives and limbs shattered by mines at Myanmar frontier
Azizul Haque wanted to scream but could not muster the energy as he fought for his life, his body torn apart by the landmine he stepped on as he and his Rohingya Muslim family fled Myanmar.
Instead the 15-year-old is so feeble he can barely beg his mother to bring him a juice, which in any case she cannot afford to buy.
Haque is in a hospital bed in the Bangladesh border town of Cox's Bazar, bandaged virtually from head to toe. He lost both legs and part of a hand in the explosion, and suffered shrapnel wounds across his body.
"We heard a huge explosion as Azizul stepped on the mine," said his mother Rashida Begum, standing next to his bed, helplessly shedding tears. "I saw his two legs blown away."
The family are among 379,000 Rohingya who have sought refuge in Bangladesh from violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state that started August 25, after Rohingya militants attacked police posts there.
They ran away from their home village of Debinna, and were in sight of the frontier when the boy stepped on a mine near the barbed wire border fence.
"Everyone was in a rush. Nobody could look out for others as the Burmese were chasing us from behind and burning the village," the mother of four told AFP.
While many Rohingya refugees have recounted tales of torture and rape by Myanmar troops and Buddhist militias as they escaped torched villages, landmines are the latest deadly threat to come to light.
Senior Bangladeshi officials believe anti-personnel mines, which were banned by a 1997 global treaty, have been planted by Myanmar security forces to prevent Rohingya from trying to return to their villages.
"Since September 3, we have heard at least 12 landmine explosions. At least three people were killed and seven were injured in the blasts," Border Guard Bangladesh Commander Manzurul Hasan Khan told AFP.
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