Tuesday, June 25, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Mortar shell explosions in Myanmar rattle houses along Bangladesh border

  • ‘Feels like an earthquake’
  • Firing heard since morning
Update : 16 Feb 2024, 04:36 PM

Clashes and firing between the Arakan Army and the armed forces in Myanmar's Rakhine state have rattled the Naf River border in Cox’s Bazar’s Teknaf upazila.

The sound of mortar shell explosions has resulted in the trembling of houses on the Bangladesh side, inducing panic among the residents.

Locals residing in Hnila, Sabrang, and Saint Martin’s Island reported hearing mortar shells going off from early morning to around 2:45pm on Friday. 

Mohammad Islam, who lives near the Naf River in Teknaf municipality, said: "Since Friday morning, the sound of heavy shelling has been heard intermittently on the Myanmar border. Many people woke up in panic. Our houses are shaking. Sometimes it feels like an earthquake.”

Teknaf-2 Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Commander Lt Col Mohiuddin Ahmed said: "I have received news of heavy firing inside Myanmar. As a result, we have increased patrolling along the border.”

He added that locals also reported that a helicopter was flying over Maungdaw in Myanmar, on the other side of Shapuree Island in Bangladesh.

"There are heavy clashes between the junta government and the Arakan Army in villages across the border. Both sides are using heavy weapons. Houses on the border areas are shaking,”’ he added.

A government official familiar with the matter, requesting anonymity, said the firing was so intense that it felt like an earthquake. “We felt like something fell on our office’s roof.”

A resident of the border area near Shapuree Island, Russell, said: "I have been hearing the sound of gunfire from Myanmar's Rakhine state since morning. The people of the island are terrified. So far, no new Rohingya has infiltrated but the possibility is high.”

Teknaf Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Adnan Chowdhury said: "The sound of firing can be heard from my house. Our law enforcement agencies are on alert at the border. People living near the border are indeed terrified, but we are constantly monitoring the border.”

On Thursday, 330 border guards and army personnel from Myanmar, who had fled to Bangladesh, amidst an ongoing conflict returned to their country. 

The 330 individuals came to Bangladesh between February 4 and 7, prompting discussion between the two countries on their return. Bangladesh also provided treatment to the injured. 

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