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1/10/2019 Nine Security Personnel Killed in AA Attacks on Border Outposts: Army

Burma

Nine Security Personnel Killed in AA Attacks on


Border Outposts: Army

 Arakan Army chief Tun Myat Naing attends a cadet graduation ceremony in Kachin’s Laiza Township, where the armed group’s headquarters is situated.  / Arakan Army Info Desk

By MOE MYINT 4 January 2019

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1/10/2019 Nine Security Personnel Killed in AA Attacks on Border Outposts: Army

YANGON—At least nine security personnel including a police major were killed by the
Arakan Army (AA) in a series of coordinated attacks on four border outposts in northern
Rakhine State’s restive Buthidaung Township early Friday morning.

Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun from the Office of the Commander in Chief confirmed
the deadly attacks, following an announcement in the afternoon by the AA.

Police Major Sai Bo Han from Kyaung Taung border outpost was among those shot
dead during the clashes.

The AA also announced that it had taken 14 security personnel prisoner. It said two
Army helicopters had attacked its fighters and nearly struck the captive government
personnel, though it did not specify the location of that attack. The ethnic armed group
said it would release details of the fighting soon, including information on the helicopter
attacks on its positions.

Brig-Gen. Zaw Min Tun could not confirm the number of government security personnel
that had been captured by the AA, but said some are still missing in the region. He said
four border outposts were attacked simultaneously by more than 100 AA troops.
Government soldiers and Border Police officers had successfully restored order at all
four locations by the afternoon, he said.

“About nine security personnel were killed. We are still trying to get details from the
scene and will release more specific information as soon as possible,” Brig-Gen. Zaw
Min Tun said.

The Army official said that the four outposts were located in the ethnic Arakanese
villages of Kyaung Taung, Nga Myin Taw, Ka Htee La and Kone Myint in northern

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1/10/2019 Nine Security Personnel Killed in AA Attacks on Border Outposts: Army

Buthidaung Township. He said that the outposts are not as well defended as Border
Police regimental stations, adding that on-duty officers are deployed there to provide
security for “Na Ta La” villages. “Na Ta La” refers to the Development of Border Areas
and National Races, a village project set up in the early 1990s under the regime of
former General Than Shwe.

“Such attacks on small outposts are really bad, because they are there mainly to ensure
the safety of ethnic villagers,” Brig-Gen. Zaw Min Tun said.

AA spokesman U Khine Thukha earlier told The Irrawaddy that the Myanmar Army had
brought ordinary and Border Police units into active conflict zones as part of its “Four
Cuts” counterinsurgency strategy. The policy was developed in the 1970s during the
regime of the Burmese Socialist Programme Party with the intention of undermining
ethnic militias by cutting off access to food, funds, information and recruitment.

The spokesman was quoted in a local media report as saying that the AA attacked the
smaller outposts because they were jointly operated by Myanmar Army and Border
Police personnel. He said the Border Police were helping the military conduct heavy
artillery attacks at the front in northern Rakhine. In late December, the AA delivered
three letters—each containing one bullet—to a police officer, a businessman and a
village administrator in Buthidaung Township warning them not to disturb AA
supporters.

High-ranking military officers have denied that there is a military command present in
the conflict zone in Buthidaung, but some local residents told The Irrawaddy that Light
Infantry Unit 552 is currently deployed there. The unit is under the Taung Bazar-based
No. 15 military command.

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1/10/2019 Nine Security Personnel Killed in AA Attacks on Border Outposts: Army

According to local non-profit organizations operating in the area, more than 4,000
residents of four townships in Rakhine State are currently displaced by conflict. Local
relief groups are providing humanitarian assistance to the internally displaced persons,
they said.

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

Moe Myint
The Irrawaddy

Moe Myint is  Senior Reporter at the English edition of The Irrawaddy.

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