Arakan Army Clashes with Tatmadaw in Chin State

Following the fighting, Arakanese men have been detained near the Indian border under the suspicion of having ties to the AA.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Recent clashes have occurred between the Arakan Army (AA) and Burma Army, with Arakanese men being detained near the Indian border under the suspicion of having ties to the armed group, AA officials said.

The armed conflict occurred in Chin State’s Paletwa Township on Saturday.

“It’s possible for battles to break out, because [the Burma Army] has sent many troops to our control area,” Arakan Army Information Department in-charge Khaing Thu Kha told NMG.

The Burma Army’s—or Tatmadaw’s—military columns have recently intensified patrol of territory claimed by the Arakan Army, he added, contributing to volatility in the area.

“Battles broke out at around 8:50 a.m. and lasted about 20 minutes,” Khaing Thu Kha explained, alleging that four Burma Army soldiers were killed, several injured, and one AA soldier killed. The fighting occurred five kilometers from Ohn Gyi Wah village on the upper Kaladan River on September 23.

“I think battles could be continuing in the area, but we haven’t received a battle report (today),” he said on September 24.

According to the AA’s information department, the AA and a Tatmadaw column under Infantry Battalion also clashed near Hta O Pee village in Paletwa Township on Friday.

Following these battles, five young Arakanese men were detained in Chin State’s Tidim Township on Saturday because authorities suspect them of having ties to the AA.

According to Col Han Win Aung, the Chin State Security and Border Affairs Minister, the men were arrested because of issues surrounding their identification documents but are also being investigated for possible connections to the AA.

“It’s true they have been arrested. Some of them hold Indian ID cards, and some of them hold fake Myanmar ID cards. Therefore, it’s possible they are charged as [violating] the immigration act,” Col Han Win Aung said.

According to the AA’s Khaing Thu Kha, the five detainees have no ties to the Arakanese armed group.

“They work as tourist guides in Buddha Gaya—they are just normal people,” he said. “They are not connected with the AA. Authorities have accused those Arakanese young men of being connected with the AA and they have unfairly detained them.”