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Thursday 12 May 2016 | Published in Regional


NAURU – A 26-year-old Bangladeshi refugee has died from suspected heart failure in Nauru’s hospital, Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIPB) says.

The man was admitted two days ago complaining of chest pains.

The Australian government said an air ambulance was dispatched, but due to his condition the man was unable to be transferred to Australia.

“He was receiving ongoing treatment in hospital, but died after a series of cardiac arrests,” a DIPB statement said.

“Authorities were looking to contact the man’s family and are providing appropriate support to his friends in Nauru.”

The man’s death came after two other Bangladeshis, a refugee and an asylum seeker, were reportedly attacked and robbed on their way to see him.

Nasir Uddin, a roommate and friend of the Bangladeshi pair, said Shabuddin, an asylum seeker, and Almamun, a refugee, were on their way to the island’s hospital to visit the man who died, named as Rakhib.

“When they come near the Odeon Hotel, the two local boys were standing there” Uddin said, adding the attackers then threw rocks at the pair, knocking them off the motorbike they were riding, before attacking them on the ground with rocks and a knife.

The attackers stole their money, as well as their motorbike and mobile phones.

Shabuddin and Almamun have since been released from hospital, Uddin said.

The alleged attack comes just days after a Nauruan government called for unity between Nauruans and the island nation’s refugees.

Border Protection Minister David Adeang said in a national address broadcast over Nauru radio in several languages that the ayslum seekers and refugees were “welcomed guests”.

“I must ask you to recognise and respect the fact that this is our home, our beloved nation, our Pleasant Island, and that you are our welcome guests,” he said.

“It is our hope and our prayer that we can work together to ensure that we can live safely and harmoniously together in Nauru, not as separate communities but as one community under one God.”