Weekend Fighting in Rakhine Results in Casualties for Both Military and Arakan Army

2019-10-22
Email story
Comment on this story
Share
Print story
Arakan Army soldiers pass through a wooded area in western Myanmar's Rakhine state in an undated photo.
Arakan Army soldiers pass through a wooded area in western Myanmar's Rakhine state in an undated photo.
Photo courtesy of the Arakan Army News and Information Service

Fighting in Myanmar’s war-ravaged Rakhine state over the weekend resulted in casualties for both Myanmar’s military and the Arakan Army (AA) rebels, their spokesmen told RFA’s Myanmar Service on Tuesday.

The military claims to have killed nine rebels, while the rebels say they killed three dozen in fighting centered on Mrauk-U and several other townships and villages over the past few days, they said.

An official announcement from the AA said they captured nine bodies clothed in sport shirts and pants, equipped with guns and ammunition.

AA Spokesperson Khine Thukha told RFA’s Myanmar Service that the casualties on the rebel side were lower than what the military had announced.

“Two AA soldiers were killed. Some [others] sustained only minor injuries. If we combine casualties from all the incidents in [the three townships], there were at least 35 killed on the other side,” said the spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Colonel Win Zaw Oo, spokesman for the military’s Western Command, confirmed that there was fighting, but did not agree with the AA’s account.

“I don’t want to make any comments on their announcements. There were battles on the nights of October 20 and 21 near Letka village. We captured some bodies and guns and some of our soldiers were injured. Aside from that, it is not true that they captured our guns and other weapons,” said the colonel.

Villagers from Latkar said the entire village fled from their homes due to the fighting.

“The military troops have been stationed in Letka village. They are firing heavy shells from the village,” said a female resident of Letka who requested anonymity for security reasons.

“Nobody has returned home over the past week. [They’ve] been in our village for four or five days,” she said.

The resident stressed the importance of returning home, saying that the harvest season is near.

“We want to go back and check if our houses are still standing. Our farms also need to be harvested, but we’re too scared to go back now,” she said.

Mrauk-U Township MP Tun Thar Sein said innocent people have been caught in the middle of fighting between the government and rebel armies.

“The only way that the villagers would be able to go back home and return to farming is if both sides agree to a ceasefire,” the MP said.

Fighting near the village claimed the lives of children this weekend. Villagers said that two children, a 13-year-old high school student and a three-year-old child lost their lives when they drowned as they fled Waitharli village during the fighting on Saturday.

In addition, several villagers, including children, were injured in the shelling of Rathedaung, Buthidaung, and Minbya townships.

Fighting between Myanmar and AA forces has raged in northern Rakhine state since late 2018, causing about 90 civilian deaths displacing tens of thousands of residents.

Reported by RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Ye Kaung Myint Maung. Written in English by Eugene Whong.

Comments (1)
Share

Sai Lin Kan

The military claims to have killed nine rebels, while the rebels say they killed three dozen in fighting centered on Mrauk-U and several other townships and villages over the past few days, they said.

Hey, Khine Thukha. Why don't you say the AA killed 300 soldiers? Ha ha.

They must be the AA soldiers. Khine Thukha, you have to check it again. Only the AA soldier wore in sport-shirt and longyi because the AA could not afford uniforms for all of its soldiers.
The AA propaganda master Khine Thukha was comedian too and sometime, we laugh a lot when we read his interview. Khine Thuka will say the AA killed ten Burmese soldiers when Burmese Army said they killed one AA soldier. He never gives up even if the AA has rooted out from the Rakhine State by Burmese Army. The AA has lost many of its soldiers and foot soldiers in fighting. Also, the AA has lost its drugs and weapons supply chain in northern Shan State and lost many of its soldiers in the war with Burmese Army. That’s why the AA comes to the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) negotiation table. If the AA was winning the war and it has built solid the AA base camp in the Rakhine state and then the AA will not come to the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) negotiation meeting with the Government.
The AA propaganda does not work and Khine Thukha was doing copy old comedy script from the past. The AA was gradually losing support from the local peoples in the Rakhine State. There’s hatred and opposing against the AA in its neighboring Chin State. The AA kidnapping Chin and Naga villagers in Chin State was a pure evil terrorist act. The assassination of Rakhine ethnic village heads is unspeakable evil act of the AA.
Khine Thukha should know the direction of the AA policy and where the AA was going and doing now. The AA was hurting local peoples and many peoples were homeless and refuge in other villages or town refugee center. The AA needs to stop using civilians as shields and fighting near the village. Also, the AA should think about taking a chance and sign the NCA.

Oct 24, 2019 05:20 PM

CH. 1: MANDARIN | CANTONESE

CH. 2: VIETNAMESE | BURMESE | KOREAN

CH. 3: KHMER | LAO | UYGHUR

CH. 4: TIBETAN

More Listening Options

View Full Site