27th August 2017
At least 30 border police outposts in western Myanmar were attacked by a group of Islamist terrorists on Thursday night resulting in the killing of 59 militants and 12 members of the security forces, said the army and government sources.
Among the casualties of 12 security forces members, one was reported from Tamadaw (army), one from immigration department office and the rest from the border police stations.
Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a group previously known as Harakah al-Yaqin, has claimed the responsibility for the attacks.
The outfit, which instigated the October attacks in Arakan, informed that their members were involved in the attacks on the outposts of Maungdaw, Rathidaung (North) and Buthidaung localities. The militant group warned of more such attacks.
The attacks were carried out simultaneously by the group between the midnight of 24 August and the morning hours of Friday.
In Maungdaw township, 26 outposts at Net Chaung, Taman Thar, Kunthee Pin Chaungwa, Nantar Taung, Nantar Taung Chaung wa, Me Dike, Kyi Kyunt, Pru Ma, Maungka Mong, Zipin chaungwa, Longdon, Theho Kyan, Zinpy Nyar, Thaye konbong, Pa Naung Pin Gyi, Shwe Yin Aye, Myint Laut, Alay Thankyaw, U Daung and Thinbaw Kuae faced the attacks.
On the other hand, in Rathidaung locality, two outposts at Kodan Kouk and Shinkhali were attacked by the militants while in Buthidaung, the outposts at Faundaw Bying and Taungbazar faced the arsons.
According local sources in Maungdaw, at least 11 government officials including 3 police personnel from Me Dike outpost were killed. The list also included one immigration department office worker at Alay Thankyaw who became the victim of the circumstances. The government has however admitted that only 9 police personnel were killed in the attacks.
“We heard the sound of guns at 2 am from our surrounding areas. Everybody was worried about their securities after the series of loud shots. The fighting continued till the morning hours,” said a resident of Maungdaw.
A teacher from the same locality informed that four bombs were exploded in four different locations. The government high school, Kyin Chaung junction near to the phone tower pillar, market junction and the front of Kyin Chaung village hospital were targeted, however no one was wounded, he added.
In Shinkhali outpost, one police constable received minor injuries. However three terrorists were gunned down at the venue, informed a police officer. The locals informed that the encounter continued in some areas close to Mayu range till 10 in the next morning.
Meanwhile, the United States government urged the Myanmar administrations to avoid reprisals after the attacks that might inflame the tensions.
The office of Aung San Suu Kyi informed the world media outlets that the military and border police personnel responded to a series of attacks by Islamist militants under the clearance operations. The police fought off groups of as many as 100 Rohingya attackers armed with guns, machetes and homemade grenades. The captured weapons were shown in photos posted online by the government.
Meanwhile, Suu Kyi called the attacks ‘a calculated attempt to undermine the efforts of those seeking to build peace and harmony in Rakhine state’.