Arakan Army takes key military junta border post in western Myanmar

Nearly 300 junta troops were driven from a camp in Rakhine state near Bangladesh.
2024.06.13
Arakan Army takes key military junta border post in western Myanmar Alaythankyaw border police camp near the Bangladesh border, April 13, 2023 in Myanmar.
(Google Earth)

The rebel Arakan Army has seized a key military junta post near the Bangladesh border in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state, a nearby resident told Radio Free Asia.

Nearly 300 junta troops were stationed at the Ahlaythankyaw border police camp in Maungdaw township when fighting broke out on Wednesday, the resident said on condition of anonymity for security reasons.

“Ahlaythankyaw camp is quite crucial for the junta,” he said. “The camp was used both for the exit to the sea and as a supply route. Officers were also stationed in that camp.”

The Alaythankyaw area was where the Myanmar military allegedly carried out human rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims in 2017 that prompted more than 700,000 to flee to safety in Bangladesh.

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

ENG_BUR_ARAKAN ARMY_06132024.2.jpg
Image from a June 7, 2024 post on the Arakan Army website. (AA Info Desk)

In January, the AA turned its focus to Maungdaw, a strategic township for border relations with Bangladesh. It has driven junta forces out of several border posts in Maungdaw.

A junta airstrike hit a residential area on Wednesday, injuring some civilians as fighting continued between the AA and junta troops who had fled from the Ahlaythankyaw camp, the resident said.

Hla Thein, the junta’s spokesman for Rakhine state, didn’t answer his telephone when RFA tried to contact him for comment on Thursday.  

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 military junta forces under in western and northern Myanmar.

The AA is continuing its offensive in Ann, Thandwe and Maungdaw townships, where the junta’s Western Regional Military Headquarters for Rakhine state is based.

Translated by Aung Naing. Edited by Matt Reed and Malcolm Foster.

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