NAYPYITAW—The Arakan Army (AA) attacked a police outpost in Buthidaung Township in northern Rakhine State early Friday morning, injuring four policemen, according to the Myanmar military (or Tatmadaw).
Around 70 AA fighters attacked a police outpost in the village of Nyaung Chaung between Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Friday, said military spokesperson Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun.
“Four police were wounded, and one AA fighter died. We found his body, and we also seized some weapons [from the AA],” the spokesperson told The Irrawaddy.
AA fighters shot into Rohingya villages as they retreated in the face of security forces that came to rescue the police outpost, he claimed.
“I would say the AA has hampered regional stability and the rule of law again by continuing its attacks on police outposts,” Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun said.
Police sent wounded Rohingya villagers to a hospital, he added.
Local residents of Nyaung Chaung Village reported hearing gunshots from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. on Friday.
“We don’t know about the situation at the police outpost. Nobody dares to go outside,” Nyaung Chaung villager U Aung San Tun told The Irrawaddy by phone.
A young man aged around 20 was hit in the arm by a stray bullet and sent to Buthidaung Township Hospital, he said.
Some Nyaung Chaung villagers have fled to nearby villages since Friday morning.
The Irrawaddy could not reach AA information officer Khaing Thukha to obtain a comment about the fighting.
The ethnic armed group has frequently attacked police outposts in northern Rakhine State. Thirteen police were killed and nine were injured when the AA launched coordinated attacks on four police outposts in Buthidaung on Jan. 4.
In another attack, nine police were killed and two were injured when the AA launched a midnight attack on a police outpost in Ponnagyun Township in March.
The government has given its approval for the Tatmadaw to conduct counter-insurgency operations against the AA.
Police have also opened cases against AA leader Tun Myat Naing and three others under the Counter-Terrorism Law.
While the AA wishes to establish a base in its homeland Rakhine State, the Tatmadaw has refused to recognize its presence in the state.
Over 50,000 people have been displaced in Rakhine State since clashes broke out between the two sides in November last year.
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