Burma

Almost 40 Regime Soldiers Reportedly Killed in Clashes With Ethnic Rakhine Army

By The Irrawaddy 16 August 2022

Some 37 Myanmar junta soldiers were killed on Saturday in clashes with the Rakhine ethnic armed organization the Arakan Army (AA), according to the AA’s information department.

The AA and military regime troops clashed in three locations in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State on Saturday, as well as in one location in neighboring Chin State’s Paletwa Township.

Thirty-one junta soldiers were killed in the clash in Rakhine’s Rathedaung Township near the road linking Rathedaung and Maungdaw, while six more soldiers from the Sittwe-based Light Infantry Battalion 270 were killed in a clash near Kyauk Pandu Village on the Rathedaung-Maungdaw border, said the AA.

The Irrawaddy could not independently verify the AA’s claims about junta casualties.

In Maungdaw, the AA clashed with Light Infantry Battalion 325 near the frontier with Bangladesh. There was also fighting between the AA and regime forces in the north of Thahyatygon Village in Chin State’s Paletwa on Saturday, said the AA. A haul of weapons, ammunition and military equipment were seized in those clashes, added the AA’s information department.

On Monday, the AA attacked hilltop outposts of Light Infantry Battalion 289 in Paletwa. The outposts are located some two miles away from the battalion’s base, said a Paletwa resident close to the AA.

Paletwa town. / The Irrawaddy

“There are around six military outposts along the mountain ridge linked to Battalion 289. Two outposts were attacked,” the resident told The Irrawaddy.

Light Infantry Battalion 289 provided artillery support for the outposts under attack, added the Paletwa resident. The Irrawaddy was unable to contact AA spokesperson Khaing Thukha for a comment.

Myanmar military forces and the AA also clashed around two weeks ago in Rathedaung and Paletwa townships.

Paletwa residents are facing serious food shortages and soaring food prices since the junta blocked the waterway linking Paletwa with Rakhine’s Kyauktaw, as well as the road linking Paletwa and Matupi in Chin State.

At an August 11 press conference, AA spokesman Khaing Thukha said that there have been frequent skirmishes in northern Maungdaw and Paletwa recently and that military tensions are running high between the junta and the AA in the region.

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