|A burnt Burmese-police post by Burma-Bangladesh border.|
Among the dead are one security staffer, 10 policemen, a deputy township officer, and 59 extremists, according to a statement issued by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s office. Eleven people were injured in the attacks, three of them seriously, and one “terrorist” was arrested, it said.
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) claimed responsibility for the attacks on 30 outposts in Maungdaw, Buthidaung, and Rathedaung townships in a Twitter post, calling them “defensive action” against persecution of Rohingya Muslims by government forces.
The group is believed to have incited deadly attacks on three local border guard posts in October 2016 and claims to lead an ongoing insurgency movement in northern Rakhine’s Mayu mountain range.
"Burma has been ramping up military in Arakan state since last few weeks in order to derail the 'Kofi Annan Commission Report and Recommendations' by triggering an unrest in the state," the ARSA said on its Twitter page. "Therefore, we have tried our best to avoid any potential conflict meanwhile."
It accused the "military and security forces" deployed in two areas of carrying out "raids; committing killings, loot[ings] in many Rohingya villages across the townships; and molesting Rohingya women."
ARSA chief Ata Ullah said in a 19-minute video uploaded to YouTube earlier this month that the group's "primary objective" is to "liberate our people from dehumanized oppression perpetrated by all successive Burmese regimes.”
|ARSA-chief Ata Ullah the Saudi Arabian Rohingya.|
Among the commission’s many suggestions were calls for reviews of the country’s 1982 Citizenship Law, which prevents the Rohingya from becoming Myanmar citizens because they are viewed as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, and an end to restrictions placed upon them in the Buddhist-dominated country.
“The government had been aware of the risk of the attacks to coincide with the release of the commission’s final report yesterday and had issued instruction to relevant Union ministers,” she said in the statement issued by her office.
“It is clear that today’s attacks are a calculated attempt to undermine the efforts of those seeking to build peace and harmony in Rakhine state,” she said. “We must not allow our work to be derailed by the violent actions of extremists.
Early morning attacks
The police outposts that were attacked starting around 1 a.m. include Natchaung, Tamantha, Kuntheepin-Chaungwa, Nantthataung, Nantthataung-Chaungwa, Meetaik-Chaungwa, Kyeekyun, Zeepin-chaungwa, Laungdon, Thihokyun, Zinpaingnyar, Tharaykonboung, Panyaungbingyi, Shweyinaye, Myinlut, Alethankyaw, Udaung (Natala), Taung Bazzar, Phaungtawpyin and Maungdaw (Natala), the statement said.
|All 27 police and army posts were simultaneously attacked by Bengali-Muslim invaders from Bangladesh.|
“People from Buthidaung and Taung Bazzar are frightened and worried, so we took about 200 of them to Light Infantry Regiment No. 522,” he told RFA’s Myanmar Service. “No villagers are left in Taung Bazzar. The government army, police, and border security guards are deployed in the area now.”
At about 3 a.m., about 150 “extremist terrorists” divided themselves into two groups and attempted to infiltrate Light Infantry Regiment No. 552 where they were driven out by Myanmar army soldiers, according to the statement issued by the State Counselor’s Office.
Other local administrative staffers and villagers in several locales in the region were evacuated to military battalions, and police and border guard stations, the statement said. Security force are evacuating civilians in Maungdaw township to safer places and carrying out area clearance operations, it said.
Myint Swe, a Muslim resident of Maungdaw’s ward No. 2, told RFA that he and his family left their home and sought shelter in downtown Maungdaw after they heard gunfire. “Some other families are moving out to the places where they think it’s safe,” he said. “We have police and security guards in Maungdaw, but we can’t go around the town now.”
He said local Muslim residents had assisted the “terrorists” with their armed assaults. “These terrorists came into our area, and some local residents helped them carry out the attacks,” he said. “They could not have done these attacks without help from the locals.”
Fighting between "extremists" and security forces is still occurring in some areas. “We heard that minor fighting is still going on in [Maungdaw township’s] Maunghnama village,” said Rakhine State government secretary Tin Maung Swe.
A mine exploded near three border guard police vehicles in front of the village’s local mosque at 2 p.m. during a reinforcement mission, he said.
|Burmese-Buddhist Police officers hacked to dead by Rohingya-Muslim terrorists.|
The violence and renewed security operations prompted a new exodus of Rohingya refugees to head towards neighboring Bangladesh to where more than 75,000 Rohingya from northern Rakhine fled during a military crackdown following last October’s attacks.
"The new influx of Rohingya people will generate more problems. We request the Myanmar authority to be cautious in handling the issue. They should solve the problem politically, not militarily," Iqbal Sobhan Choudhury, Information Advisor to the Prime Minister told BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service, in Dhaka.
"Already Bangladesh is bearing the brunt of their conflict. Now Rohingyas will try to enter into Bangladesh. Those who are already staying in Bangladesh are causing big socio economic problem." According to the United Nations, more than 80,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since last October's clashes, the Associated Press reported.
Bangladesh Foreign secretary Mohamndd Shahidul Haq told Benar News on Friday that Bangladesh has issued a note of protest to Myanmar, citing that it is not possible to allow new Rohingyas anymore, though the country has allowed thousands of Rohingyas from the humanitarian ground for decades.
“We don’t think we will allow anymore new Rohingya now. It can’t happen again and again. We have issued a strong note of protest to Myanmar.”
Sariful Islam Jomaddar, Deputy Commander (Teknaf 2) Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) said that there was a wave of Rohingya arrivals early Friday and that 146 of them had been detained from different points of the Naf river border. "And later on, we have sent them back with some humanitarian aid."
Benar News sources in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh said ARSA militants had been crossing into Bangladesh. “There are more than 150 members of Myanmar’s separatist Rohingya groups in Ukhiya-Teknaf areas, who go back and forth across the borders,” said a high-ranking source at a refugee camp who requested anonymity.
Asked about presence of ARSA in Bangladesh, Iqbal Sobhan said, “Anybody can make irresponsible claim. But that is not true."
"Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced zero tolerance to militancy or insurgency. Our government does not allow any insurgence group to use our land against the neighboring county like India and Myanmar. But if they have any authentic information about insurgence group, they can inform our security agency.”
In early August, the Myanmar government dispatched an army battalion to northern Rakhine state to provide additional security for ethnic Rakhine people following a spate of deadly attacks blamed on Muslim “terrorists” that began after the security operation ended in February.
|ARSA-chief Ata Ullah the Saudi claiming the attacks on Burmese police posts.|
The latest spate of violence in northern Rakhine could elevate the current level of repression to which the Rohingya have long been subjected since communal violence directed against them by Buddhists in 2012. At the time, more than 200 people died, and 140,000 Rohingya were driven from their homes into internally displaced persons camps.
On Friday, Annan, who is chairman of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, said: “I am gravely concerned by, and strongly condemn, the recent attacks.”
“I strongly urge all communities and groups to reject violence,” he said. “After years of insecurity and instability, it should be clear that violence is not the solution to the challenges facing Rakhine state.
London-based rights group Amnesty International said the fresh attacks signal a dangerous escalation in the turmoil in northern Rakhine.
“These attacks are a dangerous escalation in violence and could put ordinary people in Rakhine state at risk, in particular as tensions have been reaching a boiling point in the region recently,” said Josef Benedict, the group's international deputy campaigns director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. “We urge all sides to show the utmost restraint and ensure that ordinary people are protected from human rights violations and abuses.”
Amnesty international was one of the right groups that documented unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, torture, rape and other sexual violence inflicted upon the Rohingya by security forces during the four-month crackdown following the October 2016 attacks.
Benedict cautioned that the new violence “cannot lead to repeat of last year’s vicious military reprisals responding to a similar attack, when security forces tortured, killed and raped Rohingya people and burned down whole villages.”
“Although the government has an obligation to protect people, this cannot be seen as giving the army a blank cheque to commit atrocities against parts of the population,” he said, adding that it is crucial for the government to address the systematic discrimination in Rakhine state, which has left people trapped in violence and destitution.
He called on the government to implement the recommendations outlined in the final report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State. Similarly, Charles Santiago chairman of ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) and a member of Malaysia’s parliament, expressed alarm about the latest violence in Rakhine.
“The events of the past 24 hours cast in stark relief the urgent need to take immediate measures to deescalate conflict and chart a path toward long-term peace, and the recommendations delivered to the government by the [Advisory] Commission [on Rakhine state] are an ideal place to start,” he said in a statement.
“The latest developments reinforce the need, emphasized the commission’s report, for the government and security forces to act to ensure that basic human rights, including freedom of movement and access to basic services, are afforded to all people in Rakhine state, and that accountability exists for human rights violations,” he said.
|A home-made cannon captured from Dead Rohingya terrorists.|
“We recognize the government and security forces have the responsibility to act to apprehend the perpetrators and prevent further violence, and we urge them to do so in a way that protects all innocent civilians,” said a statement issued on the embassy’s website. “We also urge all communities to ensure their rhetoric and their actions contribute to restoration of peace and stability,” it said.
YANGON — Myanmar State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi condemned Friday’s attacks in northern Rakhine State that saw 12 members of security forces and one immigration officer killed after Muslim militants raided 30 police and military targets.
“I strongly condemn today’s brutal attacks by terrorists on security forces in Rakhine State,” said she in a statement released on Friday evening.
Following a series of violent attacks in Rakhine State on Friday morning, the State Counselor held an urgent meeting with Union ministers of defense, home affairs and border affairs, as well as her national security adviser and deputy minister from the President’s Office in Naypyitaw on Friday afternoon.
According to a statement from the State Counselor’s Office, members of the security forces evacuated 600 Buddhist Arakanese residents from several villages in Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships, citing concerns for their safety.
Attacks on around 30 police outposts in Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung townships on Friday caused the deaths of 10 policemen, one soldier, one immigration officer and 59 suspected militants.
In an additional statement from the State Counselor’s Office on Friday evening, Myanmar’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau—with the backing of the Union government—announced that any individuals involved in the attacks would be classified as members of a “terrorist organization.” Specifically mentioned was the ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army), believed to be responsible for the attacks.
In her original statement, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi commended the members of the police and military who she described as acting with courage in the face of many challenges.
She suggested that the actions of militants were purportedly carried out to further undermine government action recommended by the Kofi Annan-led Rakhine State Advisory Commission on Thursday.
“It is clear that today’s attacks are a calculated attempt to undermine the efforts of those seeking to build peace and harmony in Rakhine State. We must not allow our work to be derailed by the violent actions of extremists,” Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is quoted as saying in the press release.
The statement also said that the government had been aware of a risk of attacks coinciding with the release of the commission’s final report, and that the current administration remains committed to “finding meaningful and lasting solutions for conflict-torn Rakhine.”
|Burmese-Buddhist refugees fleeing from Bengali-Muslim terrorist attacks.|
Authorities say the death toll in Friday's militant attacks has risen to 89 with many more bodies of Rohingya insurgents found in areas around the scene of fighting.
Many insurgents, injured during the attacks, were found dead in fields and roads around the zone of attack that encompassed three townships - Maung Taw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung. That's a much wider area covered by the rebels compared to the insurgent attacks in October last year.
At least security personnel -- 11 policemen and 1 soldier -- were killed when the militants attacked 19 police stations and outposts and then tried to storm a camp of the 552 Light Infantry regiment at Khamara.
Military sources said at least 1,000 insurgents were involved in the attack, but residents in Maung Taw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung said many armed villagers joined the Rohingya rebels in the attacks with just sharp cutting weapons like machetes.
The militants staged coordinated simultaneous attacks on 19 police outposts that cover 24 villages around Maung Taw and tried unsuccessfully to storm an army base, the Myanmar authorities said.
The attacks came within hours of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, presenting his Rakhine Commission report to State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, marking a huge escalation in the Muslim insurgency in Rakhine State.
The long dormant insurgency suddenly came to the fore in October last year, when Rohingya rebels killed nine policemen in coordinated attacks, prompting a massive military response marred by allegations of extra-judicial executions, rape and arson.
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a group previously known as Harakah al-Yaqin, or “Faith Movement”, which instigated the October attacks, claimed responsibility for the early morning attacks and threatened more.
|As usual biased-BBC was silent if Muslims are killing Buddhists.|
The police stations and outposts attacked were identified as Natchaung, Tamantha, Kuntheepin-Chaungwa, Nantthataung, Nantthataung-Chaungwa, Meetaik-Chaungwa, Kyeekyun, Zeepin-chaungwa, Laungdon, Thihokyun, Zinpaingnyar, Tharaykonboung, Panyaungbingyi, Shweyinaye, Myinlut, Alethankyaw, Udaung (Natala), TaungBazzar, Phaungtawpyin and Maungtaw (Natala).
Eleven policemen were killed in the attack, most of them brutally hacked with sharp weapons, bleeding to death from cut wounds, said Maung Taw MP U Maung Ohn. A Tatmadaw (military) press release said one soldier has also been killed when the rebels tried to storm the camp of the 552 Light Infantry Regiment at Khamara at 3am. The rebels were beaten back, the statement said.
|Home-made weapons captured from dead Rohingyas.|
Rakhine police chief Colonel Sein Lwin confirmed the rise in deaths was due to several badly injured policemen and rebels succumbing to both bullet and deep cut wounds. He said the road from Maung Taw to Buthidaung had been closed down to vehicular traffic.
Pannpwint website carried pictures of a tall insurgent lying dead in a paddy field with a very long sword by his side. It also carried pictures of badly hacked policemen lying dead. Mizzima avoids carrying such pictures for risk of inciting inter-ethnic tensions. It was not yet clear whether those attackers killed were all armed guerillas or had some villagers among them or a mix of the two.
The Rohingya militants appear to be adopting offensive tactics used by Maoists in India or Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Muslim insurgents in India's Kashmir, when they mobilise a large number of their supporters in the villages to conceal their guerrilla formations and then join the attack with much numbers to overwhelm the smaller deployments in outlying police stations or military outposts. .
The villagers who have suffered at the hands of security forces tend to be more brutal in hacking and slashing the security forces. "That upsets the forces and leads to more atrocities, which means more alienation of the local population and more recruits for the insurgents.
|Home-made weapons captured from dead Rohingyas.|
This appears to be the biggest and most coordinated Rohingya rebel attacks since security forces started special operations in the Mayu mountains of northern Rakhine. The 33rd Light Infantry Division is involved in the massive operation designed to encircle the Rohingya rebel bases, block their escape routes to Bangladesh and decimate them.
On Thursday, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan warned against 'long drawn operations' in Rakhine and stressed creating human rights awareness amongst Myanmar army and other security forces involved in the counter-insurgency operations during his meeting with Tatmadaw chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. The general later expressed his angst, 'questioning some facts' in the Kofi Annan report.
Analysts believe the attacks were perhaps designed to divert the focus of the operations and force security forces into a heavy static deployment that would draw away numbers from the offensive operations.
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) claimed responsibility for the attacks in a Twitter post but did not either mention the number of deaths or how many fighters were involved. In the Twitter post, ARSA, accusing the Myanmar forces of killings and rape, said they had just taken "defensive actions" in more than 25 different locations.
The township of Rathetaung in northern Rakhine has been under "a blockade for more than two weeks which is starving the Rohingya people to death", it said. "As they prepare to do the same in Maungdaw … we had to eventually step in to drive the Burmese colonising forces away."
The group warned of more attacks to come. ARSA is led by Ata Ullah, a Rohingya man born in Saudi Arabia. It has denied links to foreign militant groups but Indian and Bangladesh intelligence says ARSA has operational links to Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, Indian Mujahideen and Pakistan's Lashkar-e-Tayabba (LET)
Widespread social media news are claiming that Saudi-born Ata Ullah was fatally wounded by Burmese Army near Maungdaw and brought back to Bangladesh by his men and BGB (Bangladesh Border Guards) forces. He was treated at a government provincial hospital (Chittagong Hospital?) during the night of August 25. His body was moved to undisclosed location by local BGB-chief Colonel Zartafar after his death at around 6 am on August 26.
On 28 August, Burmese Army reinforcements with the marine support from Burma Navy had to repell more than 1,000 Bengali-Muslim attackers just before they overran the army and militia guarded Buddhit village of Tha-yet-oat in Maungdaw North district.
The Bengali-Muslims (so-called Rohingyas) were surrounding the Buddhist village and blocking the access road by laying IEDs and blowing up army and police vehicles. Finally the massive firepower from the naval attack crafts forced the Bengali-Muslim attackes to flee and disappear into the Bangladesh by crossing the border right under the supporting eyes of BGB (Border Guards Bangladesh) troops.
Myanmar government is releasing news that the army has mounting evidence of UN and other INGOs active in Arakan are supporting the Bengali-Muslim terrorists with materials such as essential food and money and clothings. Army has captured many items of UN-supplied food items such as high-energy-biscuits from the bodies of killed-terrorists and their jungle camps on the remote May Yu Range.
Rohingya-Muslim Terrorists Raided Burmese Border-Police Posts.