The Arakan Army (AA) seized a captain from the Myanmar military’s Danyawaddy naval base in Rakhine State’s capital, Sittwe, on Thursday, according to town residents.
The captain was detained near the naval base and was reportedly in uniform and armed when abducted by the AA.
Junta soldiers searched houses following the abduction of their captain. “Soldiers are driving around the town and checking road users. Some shops have closed,” a Sittwe resident told The Irrawaddy on Thursday.
A large number of junta soldiers and police reportedly carried out checks in Sittwe central market, Mingan Ward and Sanpya Ward near the naval base, and also detained several residents.
The regime has also detained dozens of residents in Mrauk-U after the AA abducted four of the town’s military security affairs officers on Tuesday. Schools and the central market are closed as junta troops carry out checks at intersections.
In Kyauktaw the AA abducted three policemen on Monday evening. The following day, junta troops searched houses and detained political activist Ko Zaw Win. Several others were also detained.
On June 11, the AA abducted two junta soldiers from a military checkpoint near Kisspanadi bridge in Kyauktaw. It also detained a Light Infantry Battalion 550 soldier in Ponnagyun on June 16. The regime has since detained seven civilians in Ponnagyun.
The AA detained a police sergeant from Tein Nyo Village in Mrauk-U on June 17. The ethnic armed group has detained 12 junta personnel, including eight soldiers and four police officers, since June 11.
At a June 14 press conference, AA spokesman Khaing Thukha said the group’s abduction of junta soldiers was in response to regime detentions of its members. He did not say how many AA members have been abducted.
Military tensions have been running high in Rakhine State for months as the regime takes steps to thwart the AA’s efforts to consolidate its control in the region.
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