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Dhaka Tribune

Arakan Army seizes key Rakhine towns in major success

  • Ongoing clashes have been reported in northern Rakhine State 
  • The junta has reportedly arrested at least 300 residents in Rakhine State
Update : 16 Dec 2023, 11:18 PM

The Arakan Army (AA) has reported the capture of 142 positions held by the Myanmar military junta across 15 out of 17 townships in Rakhine State and Paletwa Township in Chin State.

The ethnic armed group, in a statement on Thursday, disclosed that major targets, including a base in the state capital Sittwe and outposts in 14 other Rakhine State townships, were seized during 45 days of attacks, along with around 17 positions in Paletwa, the Irrawaddy reported.

Ongoing clashes have been reported in Mrauk U, Pauktaw, and Maungdaw townships in northern Rakhine State and Paletwa in southern Chin.

On Wednesday, confrontations erupted near the Koe Thaung pagoda in Mrauk U Township, resulting in heavy junta losses followed by regime airstrikes.

Multiple villages, including Hpayar Oak, Ywar Haung Taw, Pipin Kone, and Maung Thar Kone, were reportedly targeted in Mrauk U, causing damage to houses, religious buildings, and pagodas.

While AA attacks persist on a major junta camp in Paletwa, the Traunaing and Hnone Buu strongholds in the township have already fallen.

On Tuesday, the AA attacked a junta outpost in Sinletwa, resulting in villagers fleeing into the jungle with disrupted communication lines.

The junta, since November 13, has reportedly arrested at least 300 residents in Rakhine State, with around 60 individuals detained in Sittwe, Minbya, Kyauktaw, Mrauk U, and Pauktaw townships on Monday and Tuesday.

Among those arrested were seven Pan Myaung villagers in Minbya Township, allegedly held as human shields.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that junta shelling and gunfire had caused 32 civilian fatalities and 96 injuries by December 4, with over 101,000 people displaced since November 13, mainly from Pauktaw, Minbya, and Ponnagyun townships.

These developments underscore the intensifying conflict in Rakhine State and Chin State, with civilians bearing the brunt of the violence.

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