Dhaka: The Arakan Rangers, formed by the Arakan Liberation Army to carry out inland activities, clashed with the government army on 14 March on Burma’s western frontier, killing one Burmese government soldier and injuring another.
Ko Soe Than, member of the department of organizing and information for the Arakan Liberation Army, told Narinjara that the clash happened while the Arakan Rangers were giving medical aid to local villagers on the border.
“The clash happened around 12:30 pm on 14 March at Pe-Taung Upper Village as the government troops approached the village when our Arakan Ranger troops were giving medical aid to the villagers there,” said Soe Than.
He said one government soldier was killed and another one was injured when the government troops were fired upon by the ambush patrols of the Arakan Rangers.
“Our informant told us that one government soldier was killed and another was taken to the nearby hospital after the clash with our troops. Our ambush patrols had to fire on them because they were approaching our forces who were giving medical aid to the villagers,” he said.
He added that the government troops were from Battalion 232 based in Sittwe, and they are currently deployed in Khamuangwa Village near Pe-Taung on the frontier.
The recent clash is the first since U Thein Sein’s regime invited the Arakan Liberation Army for peace talks. Deputy leader of the union-level peacemaking group, U Thein Zaw, offered peace talks to the ALP last January.
The Arakan Rangers are said to have been supplying medical aid and food to the villagers, who are now living in a state of internal displacement on the frontier in western Burma.