Civilians Injured, Vehicles Trapped, During Intensifying Clashes in Minbya Township

By Network Media Group
Friday, July 24, 2020

Fighting between the Burma Army and Arakan Army (AA) broke out in Rakhine State’s Minbya Township for three consecutive days. Local sources said the hostilities caused civilian injuries and brought traffic between Sittwe and Yangon to a standstill.

A local man from Minbya told NMG that Ma Tin Kyi, from Hpa Pyo village, is in critical condition after being shot in the back and legs. Sources were unsure which group was responsible for the shooting of the ethnic Chin woman on July 20.

The fighting resulted in hundreds of vehicles being piled up near Ramaung Bridge in Minbya town.

“They’re still shooting today (July 22), so none of the vehicles can leave,” said the source, who reported hearing heavy and light weapons fired.

Hla Thein Aung, a parliamentarian for Minbya Township, confirmed Ma Tin Kyi’s injuries. He said fighting broke out near Hpa Pyo for all of Tuesday (July 21), and the following day near Ramaung Bridge. The Burma Army deployed heavy weapons from its King-Tawng base. A Burma Army convoy of five vehicles was attacked with a roadside bomb, Hla Thein Aung said.

NMG attempted to reach Tatmadaw’s True News Information Team and AA to comment on the clashes in Minbya Township, but no-one responded.

But Tatmadaw’s True News Information reported on its website on July 21 the “AA insurgent group attacked a Burma army convoy from six locations” near Tawng Pok Kay and Kam-ni villages this Monday at about 9 p.m. Some officers and soldiers traveling in the convoy were wounded. Because the military convoy was ambushed, the Burma Army “will continue its counter-insurgency operation.”

The same day as the ambush, Three Brotherhoods Alliance, of which AA is a member, pledged interest in attending the upcoming Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong if their security is assured. The coalition, which includes Ta’ang National Liberation Army and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, wants to restart political negotiation talks with the government’s National Reconciliation and Peace Center (NRPC) as soon as possible.