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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

BGB, Coast Guard on high alert as explosions continue across border

  • Fresh gunshots heard since Thursday night
  • Panic grips locals in Teknaf, St Martin’s Island 
Update : 12 Apr 2024, 10:58 PM

Recurrent explosions of mortar shells and gunshots in Rakhine state have created panic among the residents of Teknaf and Saint Martin’s Island in Cox’s Bazar, who are observing Eid-ul-Fitr.

Their concerns reached high as the fresh rounds of explosions were heard from Thursday night till Friday afternoon. 

Locals suspect that if the Arakan Army’s advances further, members of the Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) or the Army may again enter Bangladesh to seek refuge.

Locals from Uttar Para, Lomba Beel, Unchiprang, Kanjorpara, Hnila, Moulvapara, Wabrang, Fuler Dail, Chowdhury Para and Jaliar Para in Teknaf, St Martin’s Island and Shah Porir Dwip reported explosions and gunshots to Bangla Tribune on Friday.

Abdur Rahman from Shah Porir Dwip said they heard explosions during the Jumma prayers of Friday and Thursday midnight.

Officials of the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Bangladesh Coast Guard said they are on high alert to prevent intrusion of Rohingyas during the turmoil.

Teknaf 2 BGB Commander Lt Col Md Mohiuddin Ahmed said: “Gunfights are underway in Rakhine, but our citizens should not be afraid. We have taken a tough stance and strengthened patrol along the border so that no one can enter Bangladesh illegally.”

The two countries share a border stretching 283km, with a major part falling under Ukhiya and Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar and Naikhongchhari Upazila in Bandarban.

In February, a total of 330 members of the BGP and civilians took shelter in Bangladesh. They were later returned to Myanmar authorities on February 15. In March, another 180 members of the BGP fled to Bangladesh. They have been kept at the Naikhongchhari BGB Battalion Headquarters. The process of repatriating them to Myanmar is underway, officials said.

Teknaf Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Adnan Chowdhury said: "We are keeping an eye on the situation. We are also taking care of the people living on the border so that they do not panic. Our BGB and Coast Guard are on alert on the border of the Naf River.”

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