Fresh Clashes Break Out in N. Rakhine

By Min Aung Khine 3 June 2019

SITTWE—Fierce clashes broke out between the Myanmar military, or Tatmadaw, and the Arakan Army (AA) on Sunday afternoon in the mountains along the eastern bank of the Laymyo River, in Rakhine State’s Minbya Township.

Clashes have been taking place in the mountains between Shwe Tamar and Aung Dine Villages  and near Myaung Bwe Village since, Shwe Tamar Village administrator U Kyaw Thein said.

“The clash erupted around 2 p.m. and stopped for a while around 7 p.m. We heard gunshots again around 9 p.m., and we are still hearing gunshots today,” U Kyaw Thein told The Irrawaddy on Monday.

Shwe Tamar Village has a population of over 800 people in more than 160 houses. Villagers have fled their homes and taken shelter in the Village monastery, according to U Kyaw Thein.

Map showing the location of the clash on June 1 / AA Information

A local who spoke on the condition of anonymity said a 40-year-old female villager in Myaung Bwe Village was injured by a bullet and sent to Sittwe Hospital, and that her condition is not yet known. Three locals from nearby Muslim Villages have also sustained gunshot wounds and are receiving treatment at the local hospital in Myaung Bwe, they said.

“A local woman in Myaung Bwe Village was injured yesterday. She was brought to Sittwe with a serious injury. I saw that a young Muslim man and a mother and her son were receiving treatment at Myaung Bwe hospital,” he told The Irrawaddy.

Brigadier-General Zaw Min Tun of the Tatmadaw True News Information Team confirmed the clashes with the AA.

“We engaged with them in the east of Myaung Bwe Village, the first time in the afternoon and the second time at night. The other side did not suffer casualties, nor did we,” he told The Irrawaddy. “We came under mine attack near the Village of Paung Toke. We came not by car, but by foot, and no one was injured. We are carrying out clearance operations,” he said.

But AA Information Officer Khaing Thuka gave a different account, saying the armed group clashed with Light Infantry Battalion 417 under Division 99 of the Myanmar military.

He said the AA attacked military trucks carrying reinforcements from Mrauk-U near Paung Toke Village and was able to stop two of them, injuring over 40 soldiers from the Myanmar military.

“We clashed with them around 2 p.m. yesterday. It stopped only because the night came. We got 10 bodies and 10 guns from the Bamar army in the clash, and we suffered three casualties and four were injured,” he told The Irrawaddy.

Minbya Township Police Major Min Soe told The Irrawaddy police could not yet confirm any details of the clash.

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