Myanmar aircraft cross Bangladesh border, fire shells

Law enforcers are on alert, say police

Myanmar security forces orchestrated a series of fierce attacks from fighter planes and helicopters inside Bangladesh border in Bandarban on Saturday morning.

Shells and gunshots were fired from warplanes and helicopters in the Ghumdhum area at around 9:20am.

Bandarban Superintendent of Police (SP) Tariqul Islam said law enforcers are currently on alert after the incident. 

However, no casualty was reported.

On Thursday, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam said Bangladesh is better prepared so that none can enter from Myanmar now due to the deteriorated situation in Rakhine state.

“We do not want to step into Myanmar's provocation or trap,” he said, adding that the Myanmar side might have a strategic benefit if they can move in such a unilateral direction.

Police and locals said that two warplanes and helicopters patrolled across the Myanmar border between BGB-BOP border pillars no 40-41 in Ghumdhum's Tumbru area.

At that time around 8-10 shells were fired from the warplanes, and two of them landed 120 metres inside Bangladesh.

Besides, the helicoptrs were also seen firing some 30 bullets.

Locals also said at least four rounds of heavy shells were fired from BGP-2 Tambru Right Camp in Myanmar part, between the border pillar No 34-35 in Naikhongchari on Saturday morning.

Firing was also reported from Muringajhiri Camp and Tambru Right Camp in Myanmar.

On August 28, Myanmar's Border Guard Police (BGP) hurled mortar shells at the border in Bandarban’s Naikhongchhari.

As many as three mortar shells were consecutively hurled from the other side, creating fear among the locals and Rohingyas. 

Later on Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Myanmar Ambassador to Bangladesh Aung Kyaw Moe and lodged a strong protest.

"We have lodged a strong protest with Myanmar so that such incidents do not happen again. We have also strongly condemned the incident," Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He said a note verbale was handed over to the ambassador.

On August 30, an Mi-35 helicopter belonging to Myanmar air forces entered into Bangladesh airspace in the morning hours.

Myanmar news portals reported that the military junta has used Bangladesh airspace to attack the Arakan Army (AA) by its helicopters.

A fierce fighting between the Myanmar security forces and AA members has been taking place since the middle of August after the AA reportedly conducted an offensive against the government along the border.