AA Forces Attack Burma Army Artillery Unit in Rakhine State

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Fierce clashes took place across northern Rakhine State on Wednesday as fighting between the Burma Army and the Arakan Army (AA) continues to grow in intensity.

“We had multiple clashes in Mrauk-U, Kyauktaw and Buthidaung townships yesterday [August 28], including one at Lyn Mwe Hill in Mrauk-U that lasted from 4:30 to 9:30 in the morning. Our forces attacked an artillery base there. The fighting was very intense,” AA spokesperson Khine Thukha said on Thursday.

“Many Burmese soldiers were killed in the clashes. There were a few casualties on our side, too,” he added.

According to Khine Thukha, the AA carried out “defensive attacks” against the Burma Army as government forces stepped up their offensive in the area.

“The Burma Army has acted with excessive force. These clashes are a consequence of that. We countered their offensives with our defensive attacks. That’s why the battle area is getting wider and wider,” Khine Thukha told NMG.

Col. Win Zaw Oo, the spokesperson for the Burma Army’s Western Regional Military Command, also accused the AA of using “excessive force” in its attacks on military columns responsible for road security.

The AA confirmed that a Burma Army battalion commander was killed in Buthidaung Township on Wednesday.

“Our forces attacked a military column of 200 Burmese soldiers east of Oo-Yin-Tha village in Buthidaung Township. A battalion commander of the Burma Army was killed in the clashes,” Khine Thukha said, adding that fighting across the state lasted almost the whole day.

Local people said that at least four artillery shells landed near a village called Htip-Wa-Pyin, leaving one woman wounded.

A resident of Kyauktaw told NMG that the Yangon-Sittwe national highway has been closed because of ongoing clashes.

“The highway was closed yesterday, I think just temporarily. People here are feeling nervous. Civilians were trapped in previous clashes. Civilian targets have been hit in the past, including by heavy weapons fired in random directions. This is why people here are really afraid,” the Kyauktaw resident said.

Clashes intensified on Wednesday in Mrauk-U, including on Lyn Mwe Hill near the village of Pouk-pin-kwin, as well as in the area around the village of Taung Oo.

According to the AA, their forces attacked a Burma Army artillery unit under Military Operation Command 9 near Daung Taw Yo, a village in Kyauktaw Township.

Burma Army and AA forces also clashed near the villages of Pang Myaunt and Shwe Kyin in Minbya Township.

Nearly 4,000 villagers from Pang Myaung and nearby villages have fled the area since a shell landed on a house in Pang Myaung last Saturday. The Burma Army also launched airstrikes around the area.