Authorities hunt down masterminds of terror attacks in Maungdaw

Maungdaw: The security forces including the army in Maungdaw Township in Arakan State are hunting down the leaders and agitators who reportedly masterminded the recent violent attacks in the area.

Major General Thein Htay, the Union Minister of Border Affairs and Industrial Development, while he was visiting a relief-camp in Alaethankyaw in Maungdaw Township on 15th of June, announced that any perpetrator who carried out gratuitous and lawless attacks on the innocent people would not be forgiven and action would be taken in accordance with the law.

Dozens of suspected attackers have been arrested in Maungdaw Township reportedly following the minister’s announcement.

“The authorities’ forces are now hunting down the suspects who led the attacks and the agitators who masterminded the attacks behind scene. So far as I know, over 100 suspects have been already arrested”, said a source close to the local authorities in Maungdaw on condition of anonymity.

The source added that most of the suspected leaders and masterminds of the attacks are fleeing their residences in fear of the authorities’ arrest, but some suspects who have close connections with the top officials in Maungdaw are staying free despite their organizing roles in the attacks.

The villages of Tharaykonebaung, Waethali, Kantharyar, Kharaymyaing, Shweyinaye, Kaigree and Mawrawady in southern Maungdaw Township were burnt down during the violent attacks on 8th of June, and many residents of those villages and other nearby villages have become displaced.

“The official statistics have stated that 367 houses from 7 villages in southern Maungdaw were completely burnt down, but many more houses were damaged during the attacks. According to the statistics we have collected, there are nearly 1,000 houses including the houses in urban Maungdawthat have been burned down during the violent attacks”, said the source.

According to the source, 7 Arakanese were killed and 50 were wounded during the violent attacks in Maungdaw Township. Some Muslims were also killed as the security forces cracked down on the violent unrests.

The source however said they did not know how many Muslims were killed during the crackdown.

The Arakanese residents from Maungdaw said that their sufferings from violent attacks have been forgotten and neglected after the attacks spread to Sittwe and that they hope the authorities investigate and take actions against those accountable for the violent attacks in their township.