Tuesday, April 23rd 2024

Junta tightens security, makes military preparations on Ayeyarwady-Rakhine border

The Arakan Army (AA) has penetrated into the Magway region and initiated combat, sparking concerns of an offensive along the Ayeyarwady-Rakhine border. In response, the  junta has commenced military preparations in the locality and intensified security measures.


Local residents informed Narinjara News that along the Ngathainggyaung-Gwa road, which serves as the border between Ayeyarwady region and Rakhine State, the junta has heightened security measures, increased military preparations, and is conducting rigorous inspections.


"Besides Bay Dar checkpoint, additional checkpoints have also been established along the Ngathainggyaung-Gwa road, where inspections are being carried out regularly. The junta has increased its presence in the area, with military vehicles arriving from Rakhine and reinforcements from Myanaung. There is a concern that the AA fighters  may advance in this direction due to ongoing fighting in Rakhine," said a resident of the border area. 


Every night along the Ngathainggyaung-Gwa road, ambushes and regular patrols are conducted by military vehicles from the 344th artillery battalion based in Ye Kyi township and policemen from Kone Pyin police station.


On 26 March, the junta soldiers reopened the Bay Dar checkpoint on the said road in Ye Kyi township of Pathein district under Ayeyarwady region, where they have been conducting inspections and also extorting money from common travellers.


"At  Ngathainggyaung police station, many bunkers have been constructed using donated wood, sand, and bamboo parts. Every day, military vehicles and private cars travel from Rakhine to Ayeyarwady," said a resident of Ngathainggyaung.


The junta forces, administrators and Pyusawhti militias from Ngathainggyaung conduct regular patrols alongside the soldiers from 563rd infantry battalion, who have established a checkpoint near Gwa township of  Rakhine State.


Another resident of Ngathainggyaung mentioned that the AA fighters have already infiltrated villages along the Ayeyarwady-Rakhine border and the soldiers were carrying out daily patrols, inspections, and ambush patrols in the area.


These checkpoints impose fees ranging from up to Kyats 25,000 per motorcycle to Kyats 150,000 (up to 200,000) per car transporting oil and foodstuff to the Rakhine region.


At the Kho Taung exit in Ngathainggyaung, Ye Kyi township of Pathein district under Ayeyarwady region, the soldiers are conducting inspections on motorbikes and cars. They are also involved in extortion activities. The vehicles coming to  Rakhine are being subjected to inspections.


According to a recent AA statement, 10 soldiers were killed and 18 others sustained injuries in two clashes between the AA fighters and  junta forces in Ngape township of the Magway region.


The clashes took place on 26 March near Tonegyi village and on 28 March near Chaungphyar village, under  Ngape township of Magway region.

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