Junta Troops Clash With Arakan Army in Western Myanmar
By The Irrawaddy 16 May 2022
Myanmar military troops and the Arakan Army (AA) clashed on Sunday around noon near the village of Than Htaung in Chin State’s Paletwa Township.
The clash happened after AA fighters fired at a helicopter bringing in food supplies for junta troops deployed on a hill near Than Htaung, according to a Than Htaung villager.
“Soldiers have been deployed there for a long time. The fighting started around noon and it lasted for around 20 minutes. They also fired heavy guns. Some villagers fled and some hid in their houses. The gunfire stopped only after the helicopter left,” he told The Irrawaddy.
Some houses in Than Htaung were damaged by gunfire, while some unexploded mortar bombs hit the ground, according to villagers.
Than Htaung, which is located upstream of the Lay Myo River, is adjacent to Mrauk-U in Rakhine State. AA troops are active in the area, and military regime troops are deployed at the village police station and on a hill near the village.
Military tensions have been running high in Rakhine State for months, said the AA in a statement on Monday. The statement accused the regime of increasing its military presence in Rakhine and disrupting the administrative and judicial mechanisms of the AA by accusing its staff.
In their statement, the AA urged locals to avoid travelling near military outposts and bases, saying that clashes could break out at any time due to increasing tensions.
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