Dhaka - Three human traffickers were killed on Friday during a police raid on a meeting of people smugglers on a beach at Cox's Bazar, a town in southeast Bangladesh bordering on Myanmar, a police official said.
Four police were injured in the raid at Teknef beach south of the fishing port, during which officers seized several firearms and rounds of ammunition, he said. Police had been tipped off about the smugglers' meeting.
The three were on the interior ministry's list of suspected human traffickers and faced several criminal charges, he added.
Human trafficking from Bangladesh and neighbouring Myanmar is an active business. Thai police recently discovered suspected human trafficking camps in the southern province of Songkhla and recovered 26 bodies a shallow grave.
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Most victims were thought to be from Myanmar and Bangladesh, many of them Rohingya Muslims fleeing oppression by extremist Buddhist nationalists in Myanmar.
The Bangladesh navy, coast guard, border guard and police are all active in tracking human traffickers.
Police and border guards in Cox's Bazar said they have arrested over 40 human traffickers in recent months and rescued about 400 people being smuggled abroad by them.
According to Banoj Kuman Majumder, a senior police official in the country's main seaport of Chittagong north of Cox's Bazar, about 240 human traffickers from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia are working in the coastal areas of Bangladesh trying to smuggle people to work abroad.