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Over 1,200 people from Myanmar's restive Arakan state have crossed the border and taken shelter in neighbouring Mizoram's Lawngtlai district, officials said today. The people who crossed over yesterday are mostly Buddhists and Christians and speak the same tribal language as the locals.
They fled their homes after the Myanmarese Army clashed with the 'Arakan Army' militants recently, they said. The government officials, on condition of anonymity, said 500 people took shelter in Laitlang village while Zochachhuah, Hmawngbuchhuah and Dumzautlang villages hosted 420, 200 and 120 people, respectively. "Several of them have put up at their relatives' place while the others were provided accommodation in village community halls and school classrooms," an official said. The official said that this is the fourth instance in recent months of Myanmarese people entering the state. Village leaders informed officials that the Arakanese people have said they heard gunshots even on Thursday night and expected more people to pour into the district. The locals volunteered to provide food to the Arakanese people and arranged shelter for them.