After losing her husband, two young sons and her home, Noor Banu thought she had seen the worst of life.
She made the perilous journey from her village in Myanmar’s Rakhine State to the refugee camps in Bangladesh in 2017, with nothing except her four surviving boys.
Now she fears she has lost another son to the massive blaze that ripped through the Cox’s Bazar camps, reducing tarpaulin and bamboo shelters to ash. More than 300 refugees are missing. Eleven-year-old Mohammed Karim is among them.
“I can’t take this pain any more,” Banu said, breaking into sobs as she spoke to Reuters inside a temporary shelter on Friday.
“I believe Karim is dead, and I may not even be able to identify his body.”
The 32-year-old Rohingya Muslim has already seen two sons die by fire.
In 2016, as the Myanmar army poured into Rohingya villages in response to coordinated insurgent attacks on security posts, Banu said her home was set ablaze in Pawet Chaung, killing the two boys – one barely a year old, and another seven.
“My home was torched in front of my eyes,” she said. “I could do nothing to save my children from the blaze.”
Her sons still bear burn marks from the fire.