At least two persons were shot dead and 10 others bullet-hit in a clash over land dispute in Bilahachura area under Pekua upazila yesterday.
The deceased were identified as Nazem Uddin, 40, and Azizul Haque Rakhel, 25.
Locals and police said longstanding rivalry between Momtazul Islam and Mohammad Alamgir over around 100 acres of land of late Shawkat Ali Chowdhury Waqf Estate led to the clash.
Both the groups took position to occupy the land around 11:00am yesterday. When they came face to face, they locked in a clash and opened fire on each other. Around 100 rounds of bullets were exchanged during the clash, witnesses said.
The injured include Shawkat, 28, Tofail, 28, Rezaul, 30, Julfikar, 40, and Mahamudul Karim, 38.
Talking to The Daily Star, Mohammad Alamgir claimed his rival Momtazul Islam had formed a cadre group in the area and were illegally occupying others' land. They launched the attack yesterday to grab the land, he alleged.
On the other side, Momtazul said he had taken lease of the land through legal procedures and was preparing to set up a fish enclosure there. But, Alamgir demanded extortion and attacked them as he refused to pay, he alleged.
Contacted, Mizanur Rahman, inspector (Investigation) of Pekua police, said law enforcers rushed to the scene and brought the situation under control. The police recovered several sharp weapons and arrested five people including a woman.
The bodies were sent to Cox's Bazar Sadar Hospital for an autopsy. Tension was prevailing, he said.