Four killed, three missing in UPDF factional gunfight in Khagrachari

STAFF CORRESPONDENT, KHAGRACHHARI AND KHAGRACHHARI CORRESPONDENT

A fierce gunfight between two factions of the United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF) in Khagrachhari’s Panchhari has left four top members dead and another four missing, in a clash attributed to a dispute over territorial control.

The conflict erupted late Monday night, around 10 PM, when armed assailants stormed a house, resulting in fatalities and abductions. Those killed in the clash include Bipul Chakma, a former leader of the Parbatya Chhatra Parishad and a senior member of the Gonotantrik Jubo Forum; Sunil Tripura and Liton Chakma, both high-ranking Parbatya Chhatra Parishad officials; and Ruhin Bikash Tripura, a UPDF member.

Bipul Chakma was a resident of Chengi Union’s Korlyachhari Buddhudhan Para; Sunil Tripura of Baranal Union’s Surendra Roaja Headman Para in Matiranga Upazila; Liton Chakma of Khagrachari Sadar Upazila’s Bhaibonchhara Union; and Ruhin Bikash Tripura of Panchhari’s Upalchhari Union.

The incident, according to Angya Marma, a UPDF leader, was the handiwork of the masked Democratic UPDF, with the area reportedly primed for a youth conference on Tuesday. However, these accusations have been vehemently denied by Shyamal Chakma, president of the Democratic UPDF, who suggested other organizations in the hills could be responsible.

Witnesses said that Bipul Chakma and seven others were in the Logang area for organizational activities. They were staying overnight in Anil Para village when the attack occurred. The armed assailants reportedly fled the scene quickly after the attack, which has caused widespread panic in the region.

Khagrachari Police Superintendent Mukta Dhar said that the investigation is ongoing and further details will be released upon confirmation.

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