Bangladesh to sue Thai, Myanmar nationals for firing at illegal migrants in Bay of Bengal

Bangladesh to sue Thai, Myanmar nationals for firing at illegal migrants in Bay of Bengal

DHAKA, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Three detained foreign human traffickers will be sued in connection with Wednesday's shooting on a vessel carrying more than 300 illegal migrants in Bay of Bengal , an official said Thursday.

At least five Bangladeshi people were killed and over 150 others injured in the shooting incident, which occurred Wednesday near an island in Teknaf close to Bangladesh's southeastern border with Myanmar.

Lieutenant Kazi Harunur Rashid, Bangladesh Coast Guard's Teknaf Station commander, told Xinhua that the trio -- two from Thailand and one from Myanmar -- will be accused of sending people to Malaysia illegally and killing five Bangladeshis.

"We're in a process to sue Dan and Mon of Thailand and Abdul Gafur of Myanmar," Rashid said.

He said the foreign traffickers have already been handed over to local police.

Sources said over a dozen of illegal migrants aboard the vessel still remained missing.

According to Bangladesh Coast Guard, the 120-feet-long Thai vessel anchored at a secluded place near the Saint Martin's Island for the last two weeks from where all the passengers were taken on board.

He said the human trafficking gang opened fire on the illegal migrants after a clash erupted between them over insufficient food supply to the passengers, many of whom were awaiting for weeks in the vessel.

Later the vessel got stuck at about 10-12 nautical miles southwest of Saint Martin's Island in Teknaf under Bangladesh's Cox's Bazaar district.

Tofail Ahmed, additional superintendent of police in Cox's Bazar, told Xinhua Wednesday that a total of 311 people including three foreign nationals were rescued from the vessel which have been dragged to shore.

Boat capsizal with illegal migrants from Bangladesh is a recurring story, with Thailand, Malaysia and some other Southeast Asian countries being the destinations of illegal work seekers.

Sources said there is a syndicate, comprising people from Bangladesh and neighboring Myanmar, who has long been involved in trafficking people from the country.