Clashes with Tat­madaw es­ca­late in Chin State: AA

The Myanmar Times - - News - EI EI TOE LWIN eieitoel­win@mm­

CLASHES be­tween the Tat­madaw and the Arakan Army (AA) have es­ca­lated in Paletwa town­ship in Chin State, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the eth­nic armed group’s Face­book page on Sun­day.

The Myan­mar Times was not able to get com­ment from the Tat­madaw or the gov­ern­ment about the armed eth­nic group’s claim but on Novem­ber 10, the Tat­madaw said it is con­duct­ing mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions in the area in the af­ter­math of the Arakan Army at­tack on one mo­tor­boat car­ry­ing civil­ians and an­other mo­tor­boat loaded with Tat­madaw mem­bers on Novem­ber 8.

The at­tack, which oc­curred at the vicin­ity of Nohn Bu vil­lage re­sulted in the death of one civil­ian and in­jur­ing three oth­ers, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment is­sued by mil­i­tary com­man­derin-chief of­fice on Novem­ber 10.

The eth­nic rebel group state­ment said heavy fight­ing be­tween Tat­madaw and AA fighters have bro­ken out in sev­eral places along In­dia-Myan­mar bor­der such as near Ri Chan Thar, Doe Chaung Wa, Doe Ri Taung, Shwe Lai Pwi and Pwi Lai Wa vil­lage where Khami, Rakhine, Mro, My­one, where the Lin Kyaw eth­nics are liv­ing.

“Heavy fight­ing hap­pened on Novem­ber 11 and both sides have causal­i­ties and in­jured,” the state­ment said.

Fight­ing start­ing near Ri Chan Thar vil­lage con­tin­ued till the evening of Novem­ber 12 and lo­cal res­i­dents are run­ning away from their vil­lages to avoid be­ing caught in the cross­fire, the state­ment added.

Paletwa town­ship is the poor­est in Chin State, and sits on the re­mote bor­der be­tween Chin and the sim­i­larly im­pov­er­ished Rakhine State.

The Arakan Army’s Bri­gade No. 3 has en­gaged clashes with the Tat­madaw, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment. On the eve of the lat­est out­break of hos­til­i­ties, on Novem­ber 5, the eth­nic rebel group is­sued a warn­ing to vil­lagers not to travel over al­leged in­ten­si­fied of­fen­sives by the Tat­madaw.

The Arakan Army is one of three high-pro­file eth­nic armed group that Tat­madaw refuse to rec­og­nize as an of­fi­cial eth­nic armed group.

AA is part of the North­ern Al­liance-Burma, along with the Kachin In­de­pen­dence Army, the Ta’ang Na­tional Lib­er­a­tion Army and the Myan­mar Na­tional Demo­cratic Al­liance Army.

The al­liance staged as­saults on po­lice and mil­i­tary po­si­tions in north­ern Shan State’s Muse and Kutkai town­ships on Novem­ber 20, 2016.

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