1 Killed, 3 Injured in Village Attack in Northern Arakan

The Burma-Bangladesh border fence seen from Laymusari Village of Nakhyaungcharipara Township, Bandarban District, Chittagong Division. (Photo: Nyein Chan / The Irrawaddy)

Unidentified attackers armed with guns and machetes assaulted several villagers in northern Arakan State’s Maungdaw Township on Sunday, killing one man and seriously injuring three others, according to reports from local villagers.

The villagers, who declined to be named out of fear for their safety, said a group of men entered the Arakanese village of Yaung Bwe, located some 15 km north of Maungdaw Township, at 1 am Sunday.

They reportedly approached the home of village leader Ba Tin and attacked him with a machete as he opened the door. When other villagers came to his aid they were also assaulted.

“They [the attackers] were disguised as local authorities, called out the name of U Ba Tin, the village head, saying that they need to check for census [identification] and when he opened the door, U Ba Tin was chopped,” said a villager, who spoke to The Irrawaddy by phone.

“When other men in the house were called for help, they were shot and injured,” he said, adding that surviving victims had provided the account of the gruesome events.

“Maung Aye, a 54-year-old trader from Sittwe, was heavily injured due to the stabbing and shooting. He died on the way to Maungdaw Hospital,” said the villager.

Ba Tin was reportedly receiving intensive care for head wounds at Sittwe Hospital, in Arakan State’s capital. The other two injured men, who were shot in the legs, were undergoing treatment at Maungdaw hospital.

Villagers alleged that the attackers disguised themselves by wearing uniforms of Burma’s Border Security Force units called Nasaka, who are stationed along the western border with Bangladesh.

Yaung Bwe village is located close to the Border Security Force region 5. An officer at the region 5 office alleged the attackers were coming from Bangladesh and had snuck across the border at night.

“Those attackers are believed to be from the [Rohingya] refugee camps in Bangladesh. They came and attacked at night and escaped immediately,” said the officer, who declined to be named as he was not authorized to speak to the media.

He said night time robberies by disguised men had occurred in the area before, although it was the first time that villagers had been killed in an attack.

Maungdaw Township and other parts of northern Arakan State were the scene of violence last year between Arakanese Buddhist communities and Muslim villagers. The latter group calls themselves Rohingya, but they are not recognized by Burma’s government as an ethnic minority. Locally they are referred to as ‘Bengalis.’

During waves of inter-communal violence last year scores of villagers were killed and some 110,000 people fled. Most of the displaced are Rohingya, who are now living in dire conditions in camps across the state.

On the other side of the border in Bangladesh, there are also camps where large numbers of Rohingya have been living for many years, without being recognized by the Bangladeshi government.

Incidents such as night time attacks in villages add to the volatile situation in northern Arakan State. In early November, three engineers belonging to the Burmese armed forces went missing in the area. They are believed to have been abducted by unidentified groups.

At the time, they were constructing a fence along Burma’s 170-km long border with Bangladesh.

The Border Security Force officer said the unstable security situation in the area needed to be put under control. “The government should pay attention to the border security as a series of incidents happened in the border area, such as that soldiers were kidnapped, the truck was set ablaze and now the village administrator is attacked,” he said.


9 Responses to 1 Killed, 3 Injured in Village Attack in Northern Arakan

  1. You will hear more news about attacks, similar to the southern parts of Thailand, in these areas in the future.

    • Are you connected to the Thai South islamist militants that you know the attacks to continue in advance. The Bengali Muslim extremists in Rakhine have been doing this for more than 5 decades, and you see this only in the future? The strategy of the Burmese army should be changed now – bring the war front to the Western part by signing peace agreements with all the indigenous people’s groups. And raise an all-out war to root out the causes of jihad ….. if the sovereignty is to be saved and ensured.

  2. George Than Setkyar Heine

    BORDER SECURITY!
    That should be the NAME of the GAME in Arakan State today people!
    Bangalis have VOWED to ANNEX the land of the Arakans as their STATE and FIEFDOM for further aim: ISLAMIZATION of Arakan and Burma as well on the long run, any bets?
    The fence jumpers (illegal immigrants) from neighboring Bangladesh would NOT REST until Arakan State is FLOODED with Bangalis from Bangladesh as evidenced.
    They are INVADING/RAIDING other lands like Thailand, Malaysia even Australia specifically as well among others while FINGERING the Arakan State of Burma as their land where they are DISCRIMINATED AGAINST,totally UNTRUE and UNFOUNDED in the first place as well.
    Hence, it is the RIGHT TIME and JUNCTURE as well for Thein Sein to ADDRESS the MATTER at hand in ALL CERTAIN TERMS as well in place of KEEPING the PICTURE and SCENARIO in LIMBO like today and PAVING the WAY for the Bangalis to RAISE HELL and FOUL WEATHER for the NATIVES of BURMA (Arakans) living on their ANCESTRAL LANDS since TIME IMMEMORIAL in the first place and until today.
    TAKE an ACCURATE and EXACT CENSUS in Arakan State as required and non-negotiable as well for that matter and CLOSE the CHAPTER of the CONFLICT in Arakan State before the Bangalis FLOOD the Arakan State and ANNEX Burma as well as an ISLAMIC STATE, the PRIMARY AIM of the ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISTS WREAKING HAVOC on this planet EARTH today.

  3. If I were the president, I would do much better job than Thein Sein. I would not send too many soldiers to kill my own ethnic brothers and sisters. Instead I would send them to defend and protect the Union of Burma from foreign invasion which is happening in Maungdaw Area. Soldiers are to defend the Union, not to kill fellow citizens. No ethnic group is trying to seek independence from the Union. Invasion from Bengali people is a threat to our Union.

  4. What an ignorant views. Just compare how many children and women killed from Rakhaing and Rihingya let alone the men. In the world history, who will be named as aggressor and genociders.

  5. Where’s International Human Right Watch dog? Why is it silent for the inhumane act when those are defending their ancestral home were attacked.

  6. I don’t want to see Rakhine State becoming like Southern Thailand.
    Bangladeshi Government has fully responsible border crossing attack on peoples in Rakhine State from Bangladesh side.
    Muslim extremists are rooting in Bangladesh and Bangladeshi Government must take action on Islamic militants now.
    Burmese Government must think about given military training and arming villagers for to protect their villages if Burmese Army can’t protect to peoples in Rakhine state..

  7. Miah!
    Myanmar is not Thailand , or try it, then you will understand.
    Negotiation with illegal bengalis? The funniest things I have ever heard. jihad? forget it for 21st century!

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