At Least Six Civilians Injured By Fighting in Rakhine State

By Network Media Group
Friday, May 1, 2020

An increase of hostilities between the Burma Army and the Arakan Army (AA) in Rakhine State in the last week has led to many civilian injuries.

Yesterday, a man sustained injuries to his chest and legs after stepping on a landmine in the jungle. A local told NMG that Maung Than Tin was his way to cut bamboo near Tharsikon located in Rathaytaung township when the accident occurred.

In Mrauk-U, at least four staff of a restaurant, including the owner, were injured after a shell struck the building on April 27. A local that didn’t want their name used said the Burma Army shelled the downtown of the ancient city for up to an hour during a counter attack against AA. After three straight days of fighting, the local told NMG “there are many Bamar (Burmese) soldiers deployed in downtown Mrauk-U.”

Fighting in Buthitaung township has also increased. About 120 families from Kantkaw Myaing were forced to seek shelter in the town of Buthitaung after their village was shelled. A 13-year-old girl was injured during the attack. Aung Thaung, who is a parliamentarian for Buthitaung township, said Ma San May’s shoulder was hurt during the shelling.

“It seems like they (Burma Army) are targeting civilians,” he said. “We are just civilians, we aren’t military targets.” The parliamentarian said that the armed groups should be protecting civilians. The government should restore internet services and allow reporters full access to the area so everyone can see what the “real situation” is in western Burma, Aung Thaung said.

Locals told NMG that after the government declared the AA a terrorist organisation, clashes have increased in downtown Mrauk-U, resulting in more civilian casualties. More than 150,000 villagers have been displaced in Rakhine State, according to civil society organisations.