The Thai officials have reportedly detained the wife and children of a top commander of the Arakan Army, an armed wing of the United League of Arakan (ULA). Major General Tun Myat Naing’s wife and children were arrested on December 4 in Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand. Naing’s 38-year-old wife Hnin Zar Phyu, 11-year old daughter Saw Pyae Shun, and 11-month-old son Myat Lin Zan are being detained at an immigration office in Mae Sai district.
According to the media reports, the family is still in Thailand and immigration officials are currently investigating the case. Naing’s wife has been charged with illegal entry since Myanmar has revoked her passport. The Arakan Army was established in 2009 by ethnic Rakhine Buddhists with an objective to seek greater autonomy from the central government. The rebel group wants self-determination for the multi-ethnic Arakanese population. The Army is currently led by Commander in chief Naing.
Recently, Security forces of Myanmar managed to rescue 14 people abducted by the Arakan Army rebels in Rakhine state with the help of armed helicopters. Myanmar’s information ministry, in a statement, said that some people were abducted by the Arakan Army. The seized people included Tatmadaw personnel, police officers, service personnel, and civilians onboard Shwenadi Watercraft en route from Sittway to Buthidaung near Yemyat village on October 26.
According to the Ministry of Information, the Arakan Army opened fire at the helicopter which was used to transport security forces to the nearest site of the abduction for the rescue operation. The insurgents failed to shoot it down but it hit the body of the helicopter and the pilot got injured. Later, an armed helicopter supported in carrying the security forces to complete the mission.
In January 2019, around 300 members of the Arakan Army had launched a bloody attack on four border police outposts in which 13 members of Border Guard Police (BGP) were killed. In March as well, they attacked Yoe-ta-yoke Police Station, reportedly killing nine policemen.
(With Inputs from Agencies)