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Myanmar ethnic armed group claims management of western city

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“We seized all bases of the Myanmar Army in Buthidaung,” in northern Rakhine State, the Arakan Army stated on its Telegram channel on May 18, 2024. Photo: t.me/aainfodesk 

A Myanmar ethnic minority armed group on Saturday claimed its fighters had seized management of a city in western Rakhine state, in what can be one other blow to the junta.

Clashes have rocked Rakhine for the reason that Arakan Army (AA) attacked safety forces in November, ending a ceasefire that had largely held for the reason that 2021 army coup.

AA fighters have seized territory, together with alongside the border with India and Bangladesh, piling additional strain on the junta because it battles opponents elsewhere throughout the Southeast Asian nation.

“We seized all bases of the Myanmar Army in Buthidaung,” in northern Rakhine state, the AA stated on its Telegram channel on Saturday.

Those seized included a “military strategic headquarters”, it added, with out giving particulars.

Its fighters had been nonetheless clashing with junta troops outdoors the city, it stated.

Buthidaung sits round 90 km north of state capital Sittwe, which continues to be held by the army.

Earlier this month, the AA stated it had taken a whole bunch of junta personnel prisoner following an assault on a command close to the Buthidaung.

A junta spokesman has been approached for remark.

Communication with Rakhine is extraordinarily tough, with most cellular networks down.

The AA is one in all a number of armed ethnic minority teams in Myanmar’s border areas, lots of whom have battled the army since independence from Britain in 1948 over autonomy and management of profitable sources.

The AA claims to be combating for extra autonomy for the state’s ethnic Rakhine inhabitants.

Fighting had unfold to fifteen of Rakhine state’s 17 townships since November, the UN’s human rights chief stated final month.

Hundreds of individuals have been killed or wounded and greater than 300,000 displaced, it stated.

Clashes between the AA and the army in 2019 roiled the area and displaced round 200,000 folks.

The army launched a crackdown on the Rohingya minority there in 2017 which is now the topic of a United Nations genocide courtroom case.

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