SITTWE, Rakhine State—Ten policemen and three civilians are missing after the Arakan Army (AA) overran the Thazin Myaing Border Guard Police outpost in Rakhine State’s Rathedaung Township at around 2 a.m. on Friday, according to Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) spokesman Brigadier-General Zaw Min Tun.
The civilians, who include a child, are relatives of the 10 police officers, the military spokesman said.
“That outpost has only a few police. The AA attacked with a large number troops using heavy and small arms, and 10 police and three relatives including a child have gone missing,” Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun said.
Attacked by up to 200 heavily armed rebel troops, the border guards stationed at Thazin Myaing were forced to abandon their outpost and join security troops nearby at around 5 a.m., the military spokesman said.
Rathedaung Township residents said they saw flames coming from the Thazin Myaing Border Guard Police outpost at around 2.30 a.m. on Friday. Township administrator U Aung Myint Thein confirmed the attack on Thazin Myaing, but said he did not have any further details.
Myanmar military troops and police are now conducting clearance operations in the area and searching for the missing people, the military spokesman said.
In January, four border guards from the Thazin Myaing outpost were robbed of the post’s December salaries on their return from Zedi Pyin Police Station in Rathedaung Township, where they collected the wages. Two of the four border guards went missing.
On Jan. 4, 2019, the AA attacked four Border Guard Police outposts in Buthidaung Township. It also attacked Yoe Tayoke Police Station in Ponnagyun Township on March 3, and a battalion near Koe-thaung Temple in Mrauk-U on April 10, 2019.
The Myanmar military has described the AA’s attacks on police, who are responsible for regional stability and the rule of law, as war crimes. The AA has accused the police of playing a part in the Myanmar military’s operations against it, and says the military launches artillery attacks from police outposts.
Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko
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