Monday, May 27, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Panic grips Teknaf residents as shelling heard again from Myanmar border

  • Gunshots were heard sporadically from early morning
  • ‘BGB on high alert to prevent infiltration of Rohingyas’
Update : 26 Mar 2024, 09:10 PM

Residents of the Teknaf border areas were gripped with panic on Tuesday as the sound of gunfire and mortar shells intensified on the Myanmar side, amidst clashes and exchanges of fire between the Arakan Army and the armed forces in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

Gunshots were heard sporadically from early morning to noon. 

The people of the border area are engulfed with fear of the sound of mortar shells coming from the other side of the Naf River in the border area of Whykong Union and Hnila Union of Teknaf.

Heavy mortar shelling and firing were also heard at Shapuree Island and Saint Martin’s Island.

Lt Commander Khandaker Munif Taqi, media officer of the Coast Guard Headquarters, said: "We have been patrolling day and night in the Naf River since the beginning. We are always ready to face any situation. We are in a strict position at the border to prevent infiltration.”

Nashir Uddin, a resident of Jeti Ghat on the island, said that after being closed for some time, the sound of heavy gunfire is being heard on the border of Shapuree Island.

Since Sehri, very loud noises have been coming from across Myanmar. 

Suddenly, the sound of gunfire was heard again on this border. Even the sound of this gunshot was also heard in Saint Martin, he added.

Saint Martin’s Union Parishad Panel Chairman Akhtar Kamal said: "I heard through locals that the sound of gunfire has been heard on the other side of the Saint Martin border since dawn."

Enam Ullah, a resident of Shapuree Island,  said: "The border area of ​​the island is shaking with the sound of Myanmar's gunfire. The sound of gunfire is heard every half hour. The sound of today's gunfire can be heard as far as Shapuree's island market. Children and women living on the border are in fear.”

Manager of a residential hotel in Saint Martin Island Ishaq said: "Heavy mortar shells and gunshots have been heard from the island since morning.”

Rahima Khatun, a resident of Shapuree Island, said: "I heard the sound of gunshots after the Fajr prayer. At first, I thought of the sound of thunder. Later I confirmed that the war had started again in Myanmar.”

In some villages of Maungdaw, Buthedong and Rathedong, Myanmar, the country's army is fighting fiercely with the Arakan Army, a separatist organization of Myanmar. 

Members of the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Bangladesh Coast Guard have increased patrolling on the Naf River and border road in the 54 km area from Whykong to Shapureei Island of Teknaf Upazila.

Teknaf-2 BGB captain Lt Col Mohiuddin Ahmed said: "Besides strengthening the BGB patrol on the border, we are on alert to prevent the infiltration of Rohingyas on the border."

Rashed Mahmud Ali, chairman of Teknaf's Hnila Union Parishad, said: "Sounds of gunfire are being heard on the border from dawn to noon. Compared to other days, the sound of gunfire is louder today.”

Since early February, tension has also gripped locals in Naikhongchhari Upazila of Bandarban. 

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