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1/10/2019 AA ‘Backstabbed’ Gov’t Forces in Jan.

4 Attacks: Border Guard Officer

News

AA ‘Backstabbed’ Gov’t Forces in Jan. 4 Attacks:


Border Guard Officer

 An officer guards the Gotepi police outpost on Jan. 6, 2019. The station was one of four attacked by the AA on Jan. 4. / Min Aung Khine / The Irrawaddy

By MIN AUNG KHINE 7 January 2019

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1/10/2019 AA ‘Backstabbed’ Gov’t Forces in Jan. 4 Attacks: Border Guard Officer

SITTWE—The commander of the Border Guard Police in Rakhine State’s Maungdaw has
described as “backstabbing” the Arakan Army (AA)’s coordinated attacks on four police
outposts in Buthidaung Township on Jan. 4.

“The Border Guard Police cooperate with the Tatmadaw on security and protection of
Rakhine State against threats from ARSA [the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army]. But the
AA orchestrated [attacks] to undermine stability in Rakhine State. I view this as stabbing
us in the back,” Police Brig-Gen. Myint Toe told reporters on Sunday.

“Everybody knows whether the [AA] should have done this. [The AA] attacked while the
Tatmadaw [the Myanmar military]’s units were off guard, and while there were fewer
military units [in the area] as they were performing other duties. Under such
circumstances, they attacked with heavy forces. I think it is an act [aimed at] taking
political advantage,” he added.

The Tatmadaw declared a four-month unilateral ceasefire on Dec. 21 in five military


regions. The ceasefire does not cover Rakhine State, which is overseen by the
country’s Western Command.

The government said 13 police were killed and nine others injured in the AA attacks on
Jan. 4 as Myanmar celebrated the 71st anniversary of independence from British rule.

Police lost 40 small arms, over 16,000 rounds of ammunition and a walkie-talkie in the
attacks, the government said.

Khaing Thu Kha, the AA’s information officer, said the armed group launched the
attacks because the Myanmar Army stationed troops at the police outposts. He also
accused police of helping the Tatmadaw conduct artillery attacks on the AA.

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1/10/2019 AA ‘Backstabbed’ Gov’t Forces in Jan. 4 Attacks: Border Guard Officer

Police Brig-Gen Myint Toe denied the AA’s claim.

“We provided fire support only after they [the AA] launched attacks. Our Border Guard
Police force No. 8 provided fire support for the Nga Myin Baw police outpost, and the
Tatmadaw provided fire support for the Kyaung Taung police outpost. We didn’t engage
in artillery fire,” he told reporters.

The AA abducted 18 people, including security personnel and some of their family
members, in the Jan. 4 attacks but later released them.

The Myanmar Police Force announced on Saturday that it had filed cases against those
involved in the attacks under the Counter Terrorism Law. If found guilty, the accused
face maximum sentences of 10 years in prison.

Topics: Arakan Army, Border Guard Police, Military conflict, Rakhine, Tatmadaw


Min Aung Khine
The Irrawaddy

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