Friday, May 24th 2024

Hundreds of junta soldiers reinforced near the place where AA and ARSA fought

The military junta forces have deployed hundreds of soldiers near the place in Buthidaung where the Arakan Army (AA) and the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) fought in the last few days, said local residents.

They informed that the confrontation between AA and ARSA cadres took place in the Mayu mountain range located between Akar Byint and Kyauk Sar Daing under Buthidaung township from 18  July evening to 19 July morning.


Soon after the incident, a navy vessel of the military council with several soldiers arrived at Buthidaung port from Sittwe on 21 July.


At least four military vehicles were loaded in the vessel along with food items and weapons. More than 100 soldiers of the military council harbored at Buthidaung jetty and they were deployed in villages namely Tha Bike Taung, Sein Nying Byar, Ngapaw Chaung and Faron Chaung.


"There is no fighting at this moment, but the situation is very tense. The AA, ARSA and junta soldiers are monitoring each other in the area," said a resident.


Locals were worried that the fighting may take place again as the tension from three sides has been intensified.


U Aung Thaung Shwe, a former member of Rakhine State Parliament from Buthidaung township, said that it would not be a big deal as ARSA does not represent its people.


 “I don't see it would emerge too big. ARSA does not represent its own people. It’s a terrorist group and not related to the common Muslim people of Rakhine State,” he added.


Residents complained to the nearby military council camps that the ARSA was trying to build a stronghold in that area. Later they along with some Muslim leaders complained to the United League of Arakan/ Arakan Army (ULA/AA) about ARSA and soon the clash between the two-armed groups erupted.


In the battle field, at least 10 ARSA cadres were killed and one individual was captured by the AA, while two AA members sustained injuries.


 AA spokesperson U Khaing Thukha was repeatedly asked by Narinjara News over telephone from 21 to 23 July, but no response was found.


ARSA, a group of infiltrators, remains active in Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships on western border of Myanmar adjacent to Cox's Bazar locality of Bangladesh.


The ARSA cadres attacked a number of border police stations and military bases in Maungdaw in 2017. After the attacks, the Burmese soldiers conducted a clearance operation in those areas under Buthidaung, Maungdaw and Rathedaung townships. It resulted in the mass exodus of 750000 Muslim people to Bangladesh with an aim to escape military atrocities.


 AA has  more than 30,000 combat troops and it had reached an informal ceasefire with the military junta in November 2022. Currently several Rakhine rural areas are under its control.


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