You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Rohingya rebels claim ambush on Myanmar security forces

Topics
Social Issues

AFP  |  Yangon 

Rohingya rebels on Sunday claimed responsibility for an ambush on Myanmar security forces that left several wounded in northern Rakhine state, the first attack in weeks in a region gutted by violence.

Rakhine was plunged into turmoil last August, when a series of insurgent raids prompted a military backlash so brutal the UN says it likely amounts to ethnic cleansing of the Muslim Rohingya minority.

The army campaign sent some 650,000 Rohingya fleeing for Bangladesh, where refugees have given harrowing accounts of rape, murder and arson at the hands of security forces and vigilantes.

Myanmar's military, which tightly controls information about Rakhine, denies any abuses and insists the crackdown was a proportionate response to crush the "terrorist" threat.

The insurgents, known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), have launched few attacks in recent months.

But the army reported that "about ten" Rohingya militants ambushed a car with hand-made mines and gunfire on Friday morning, wounding two officers and their driver.

The militants claimed responsibility for the ambush in a rare post from an official Twitter account on Sunday.

"Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) hereby declares that we carried out an ambush against the Burmese terrorist army... at around 10:00am on 05 January 2018," it said.

The statement did not provide any more details about the attack in northern Maungdaw township.

The shadowy, poorly-armed ARSA -- whose August raids left at least a dozen dead -- says it is fighting for the political rights of the Rohingya, who have have faced systematic oppression in mainly Buddhist Myanmar for years.

Its statement on Sunday added that "Rohingya people must be consulted in all decision-making that affects their humanitarian needs and political future".

ARSA's fighting capacity at this point is unknown.

But a report last month from International Crisis Group said the organisation "appears determined to regroup and remain relevant" and may draw on desperate Rohingya refugees languishing in camps for future operations.

Any uptick in violence in Rakhine will deepen concerns about plans to begin repatriating refugees later this month.

Bangladesh and Myanmar signed an agreement in November allowing for repatriations from January 23.

But many aid groups and diplomats have expressed doubt that fearful Rohingya will agree to return to country where where they face severe discrimination from other communities and the state.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sun, January 07 2018. 10:00 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU