Close Call For Military Convoy on Explosives-Rigged Road in Rakhine

By Min Aung Khine 5 February 2019

SITTWE, Rakhine State — Three explosive devices went off in Rakhine State’s Ann Township only minutes after a military convoy passed the area on Monday, according to local officials and residents. No one was injured.

The three devices exploded between the villages of Me Let Maung and Chauk Chong about 15 minutes after a military convoy of five trucks passed the area at around 8 p.m., said township administrator U Ko Ko Myat, who described the devices as mines.

“Those mines were targeting the military convoys. But because they only exploded 15 minutes after the convoy passed the area, no man or truck was damaged,” he told The Irrawaddy.

As the explosions happened only about 5 km from Me Let Maung, the entire village heard the blasts, said U Wai Lin, the village administrator.

“The entire village heard the mine explosions at about 8 p.m. yesterday. But we don’t know the details,” he said.

U Ko Ko Myat  said the Myanmar military cleared the area afterwards and was searching for the culprits.

“Some villagers said they heard artillery fire, which was in fact the mine explosions. They also said they heard small arms fire; they were fired by soldiers during their clearance operation. There was no fighting there yesterday,” he said.

Contacted Tuesday, Rakhine State Minister for Security and Border Affairs Col. Phone Tint said he could not comment because he was in a meeting.

Despite Monday’s explosions, the situation in Ann Township remains stable and passenger buses and cargo trucks are running normally between Yangon and the Rakhine capital, Sittwe, through the area.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.