The Irrawaddy

Breaking: Two Men Shot Dead in Northern Rakhine

A wounded villager is pictured at Buthidaung Township General Hospital on Monday. (Photo: RMC/ Facebook)

YANGON – Four men were shot and two are dead in an attack in Aung Tha Pyay village in Rakhine State’s northern Maungdaw Township this morning, according to a border police major.

Maj. Aung Win of Kyee Kan Pyin border police headquarters said the men were Daingnet—a sub-ethnicity of Arakanese—but declined to comment further, saying he has not received a full report of the crime.

Staff at Buthidaung General Hospital said locals and police brought two men with bullet wounds to the hospital on Monday morning. Hospital supervisor Kyaw Naing Oo said the men were in a critical condition.

Northern Rakhine State has been reeling from violence since Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) attacked police outposts in August, which intensified Myanmar Army operations, causing more than 600,000 self-identifying Rohingya Muslims to flee for Bangladesh.

Estimates put the death toll of self-identifying Rohingya past 1,000 while about 30,000 Arakanese and Hindus fled militant violence, with reports saying the militants had targeted civilians.

Thudatha Naka, abbot of Aung Tha Pyay monastery, told The Irrawaddy over the phone on Monday that the four Daingnet men—Maung Ngay Hla, Shwe Thein Maung, Sein Hla Maung and Maung Ngay Tun—went hunting for boar in the forest in the Mayu mountain range on Sunday evening.

They crossed paths with Muslim militants and were shot, he said. Maung Ngay Hla and Shwe Thein Maung managed to escape and are receiving treatment at the hospital.

“The two men who escaped told me a group of Bengali terrorists shot at them and two were killed on the spot,” he said, using a term said locally and across the country to describe the self-identifying Rohingya.

The Irrawaddy phoned Buthidaung Township police officers, but they decline to comment and directed calls to border police officials, as the Border Guard Force controls the area.