Myanmar rebels claim junta outpost on Bangladesh border

Only five junta-occupied border posts remain in the township, residents said.
By RFA Burmese
Myanmar rebels claim junta outpost on Bangladesh border A junta border guard station in Maungdaw township, Rakhine State on Dec. 23, 2016.

An ethnic minority insurgent group has captured a junta base on Myanmar’s border with Bangladesh, sources close to the rebel group told Radio Free Asia on Friday.

The Arakan Army, or AA, which resumed its battle against the junta for territory in Myanmar’s west in November, controls nine townships in Rakhine state and one in Chin state.

In January, the AA turned its focus to Maungdaw, a strategic township for border relations with Bangladesh. On Thursday, AA troops captured junta Border Guard Station No. 6 in Inn Din village.

Nearly 600 soldiers were stationed at the guard post, said one resident who wished to remain anonymous for security reasons.

“The border guards, combined with forces from other outposts, were stationed in that camp,” he said. “A junta division commander was also posted there. There are many casualties from the junta side and some soldiers ran away.”

In late May, junta airstrikes killed one civilian and wounded nearly a dozen in Maungdaw township. The AA launched an unsuccessful offensive against the same border post on Jan. 5, but were held back by the junta’s combined navy, air force and army. 

RFA tried to contact AA spokesperson Khaing Thukha and Rakhine state’s junta spokesperson Hla Thein, but neither responded by the time of publication. 

Junta troops built the post in 2017 after destroying a predominantly ethnic minority Rohingya village that was located there, residents told RFA. 

The AA is also attacking Maungdaw’s Myin Hlut-based Border Guard Station No. 9. The insurgent group captured Maungdaw’s Border Police Command Office No. 1, which is the largest junta camp in Maungdaw township, residents said, adding that only five junta-occupied border guard posts remain in the township. 

Rebels are maintaining attacks on Ann, Thandwe and Maungdaw townships, where the junta’s Western Regional Military Headquarters for Rakhine state is based.

A ceasefire between the AA and the military broke down in November, at the same time that other ethnic minority and pro-democracy insurgents launched attacks that have put forces of the junta that seized power in 2021 under unprecedented pressure.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Kiana Duncan and Mike Firn.


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