Ethnic insurgents step up assaults in opposition to police power in Myanmar western state

YANGON, March 11 (Xinhua) — An ethnic insurgent group, the Arakan Army (AA), has attacked a boat carrying policemen in Yathedaung township, Myanmar’s Rakhine state, leaving one policeman missing, according to the Myanmar Police Force Monday.

It was the latest incident in a series of AA attacks over the last two weekend days.

A large boat carrying AA members came across another boat with 14 policemen on board in Kardi Creek Sunday evening at about 06:20 p.m. local time. The AA members opened fire on the police boat, which sank and crashed against the AA boat.

Afterwards, the AA members drove away towards Gwazon area along the creek, the police force said.

A day earlier on Saturday, a 200-strong AA launched attack on Myanmar-Bangladesh border fence construction work site in Buthidaung township, Rakhine state, where Myanmar security forces stationed.

Myanmar security forces warned of reacting with a military operation against the AA for the security of the area and for safeguarding the territory as well as for protecting the lives and properties of the local people.

The construction work of the Myanmar-Bangladesh border fence has been underway since 2010 under four phases to prevent illegal entry from the country’s western gate and so far a distance of 129.15 miles (206.64 km) of the fence far up to Fence No. 67 has been completed, the military headquarters said.

On the same night, AA also launched attack on a village police outpost, Yotayoke, in Ponnagyun township, Rakhine state, with small and heavy weapons, killing nine policemen, mostly officers, and injuring two others. One went missing.

The AA reportedly took away some weapons of the security forces.

Since the beginning of 2019, AA has stepped up attacks on the government forces. On Jan. 4, the AA, a non-signatory to the government’s Nationwide Cease fire Accord (NCA), launched coordinated attacks on four border police outposts in villages in Buthidaung, Rakhine state, killing 13 police officers and wounding nine others.

Following the incident, Myanmar armed forces occupied a base camp of the AA in the area on Jan. 16.

The military vowed to continue security operations to ensure rule of law and regional stability in the state.

The AA attacks on four border police outposts in Buthidaung township had been denounced as acts of terrorism.

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