Updated February 5th, 2024 at 21:16 IST
For the First Time, Hundreds of Myanmar Troops Flee to Bangladesh After Clashes with Ethnic Groups
The Myanmar forces crossed into Bangladesh over the past two days to escape the fighting in Myanmar's Rakhine state.
Dhaka: Hundred members of Myanmar's Border Guards have reportedly left their posts and have sought refuge in Bangladesh amid clashes between Myanmar's security forces and the Arakan Army, an ethnic minority group.
According to Shariful Islam, the spokesperson for Border Guard Bangladesh, the Myanmar forces crossed into Bangladesh over the past two days to escape the fighting in Myanmar's Rakhine state, which borders Bangladesh. They entered Bangladesh through the Tombru border in the Bandarban district.
Myanmar Soldiers Taken to Safer Locations: BGB
As per Islam, there are currently over hundred Myanmar troops in Bangladesh, and they have been disarmed and taken to secure locations. Gunshots have been reported from the Myanmar side of the border since Saturday. The Arakan Army, the armed wing of the Rakhine ethnic minority seeking autonomy, has been attacking military outposts in Rakhine state since mid-November.
The Arakan Army is part of the Three Brotherhood Alliance, along with the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and the Ta'ang National Liberation Army. The alliance announced on Monday that the Arakan Army attacked two border outposts in Maungdaw township in Rakhine state, capturing one on Sunday. Khaing Thukha, a spokesperson for the Arakan Army, reported ongoing fighting at the second outpost.
Further, Myanmar's military government has not issued an immediate comment. The Three Brotherhood Alliance's offensive, beginning in late October, has gained strategic territory in the Myanmar's northeast, bordering China. This success is considered a ‘significant’ setback for the military government, or Junta, which seized power in February 2021 and is currently engaged in a widespread civil war.
Bangladesh shares a 271-km (168-mile) border with Myanmar and is home to over 1 million Muslim Rohingya refugees, many of whom fled Myanmar's military crackdown in late August 2017. The military's actions followed attacks by an insurgent group in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar.
Published February 5th, 2024 at 21:16 IST