Northern Rakhine Cut Off As Violence Continues

By The Irrawaddy 27 August 2017

SITTWE, Rakhine State — Access to Buthidaung, Maungdaw and Rathedaung townships of northern Rakhine State was cut on Saturday as boat services were suspended from the state capital Sittwe as attacks by Rohingya militants continued in the area since early Friday morning.

Boat service providers in Sittwe told The Irrawaddy requests to the Rakhine State government for security assistance had not been answered.

The three townships are only accessible via boat from Sittwe to Maungdaw.

“We suspended our service as we don’t dare to venture out without any security assistance,” said a saleswoman from the Shwe Nadi Boat Service’s ticket counter, adding that she didn’t know when the service would be resumed.

U Aung Kyaw Zan, state minister for industry and transportation, told The Irrawaddy he had informed boat services to operate based on the situation in Maungdaw.

“Everyone knows what is happening there, we can only take action based on the situation there,” he said.

Since Friday morning, attacks on around 30 police and army targets in Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung townships caused the deaths of 10 policemen, one soldier, one immigration officer. At least 59 suspected militants were also killed.

The Myanmar government on Friday evening denounced those involved in the attacks as terrorists.