Maungdaw: Muslim rebels have reportedly killed one soldier and captured three others in their guerrilla offensive against the Burmese army in northern Maungdaw Township on Burma’s western frontier.
A source close to the army said the Muslim rebels attacked a team of the Burmese military construction unit known as GE that has been constructing the Bangladesh-Burma Friendship Road in Nasaka Area (1) in Maungdaw around 6 pm on Tuesday.
Kyaw Kyaw Wai, a machinist of the BE team, was killed on the spot while three soldiers including sergeant Khin Moe Aung were captured alive and taken away by the rebels.
The Burmese side alleges that the rebels are of the Rohingya Solidarity Organization, but no independent confirmation is available yet.
A local resident from Aung Tha Pyay Village in Nasaka Area (1), who witnessed the incident, said three soldiers captured and taken away by the rebels are presumed to have been executed as well.
“The armed rebels opened fire at the worksite about the end of working time around 6 pm yesterday. The soldier of the construction team was killed by their shots and the remaining 13 soldiers ran away from the site. Three of them were captured and taken away by the rebels. They are still missing and believed to be executed”, said the resident.
The construction site that was attacked by the rebels is situated 40 miles northwest of Maungdaw main town on Bangladeshi border. The rebels are said to have launched a sudden guerilla attack and then pulled back from the site.
A Buddhist monk from a nearby village also said that attacks took place at the construction site near the border pillar (1), (2) and (3) in upper Aung Tha Pyay area and that there was another clash that lasted for five minutes around 9 pm after the soldiers from Taungbro arrived in the area.
“There was then a religious ceremony held by the army at Mee Tike Village in Nasaka Area (3) and most of the soldiers in the area were gathering at the ceremony. So, the rebels got a good chance to launch an attack on the construction team”, added the monk.
Local authorities are also said to have arrived to inspect the site of the attack on Wednesday morning.
It is the first time an armed clash between the Burmese army and an insurgent group has occurred in the northern part of Maungdaw in Arakan in many years.
It is learnt that the LIB-(353) is also sent to step up the security in the area.