Villager Killed, Nine Hurt as Myanmar Military, AA Clash in Rakhine State

By Min Aung Khine 22 April 2020

SITTWE, Rakhine State—A civilian was killed and at least nine villagers were injured in fierce clashes between the Myanmar military (or Tatmadaw) and the Arakan Army (AA) in Rakhine State’s Minbya Township on Monday.

Artillery shells reportedly struck Min, Htaunt Chay and Myit Nar among other villages in Ah Wa Village-tract during fighting between the Tatmadaw and the AA near Yar Maung Bridge, killing a 30-year-old woman in Myit Nar and wounding all three members of a family and two other residents in Htaunt Chay.

Four residents of Min Village suffered minor injuries, according to local residents.

The residents also claimed the Tatmadaw carried out air strikes in the mountains near Hparpyaw Village in Minbya.

“There was fighting yesterday and today. The Tatmadaw came and fought with jets in the mountains near Hparpyaw Village. It was as if the world were collapsing. The sounds [of the explosions] were unbearable,” Hparpyaw Village administrator U Mya Tun told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday.

Last month, clashes forced residents of Hparpyaw to flee to nearby villages. Some were left homeless as their houses burned down after being hit by artillery shells.

On Tuesday morning, three military jets fired into villages east of downtown Minbya, according to U Hla Thein Aung, a regional lawmaker from the township.

He said the number of casualties was not yet known, but on Monday civilians were wounded in villages in Ah Wa Village-tract, east of downtown Minbya.

On Tuesday afternoon, a CPS (Competitive Pest Service) Company vehicle transporting disinfectant from Ann Township to a bank in Sittwe was fired upon near Phar Pyo Village in Minbya Township.

The driver of the vehicle, U Nwe Nwe Maung, 30, died after being shot in the head and another CPS employee who was in the vehicle, Maung Hein Htet Oo, was wounded.

The Tatmadaw blamed the AA for the shooting, in a press release issued by the Office of the Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services.

On Monday, a World Health Organization (WHO) vehicle transporting swabs from suspected COVID-19 patients came under attack near Yar Maung Bridge in Minbya Township.

Two men were injured when the vehicle was fired upon and one of them, driver U Pyae Sone Win Maung, later died at Minbya Hospital. Another man, U Aung Myo Oo, a health care worker with the Ministry of Health and Sports, suffered wounds to his right hand and is being treated at Sittwe Hospital.

The Tatmadaw and the AA traded blame for the fatal attack. The Myanmar government has promised to investigate the attack on the vehicle, which was clearly marked with a WHO logo.

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