Arakan Army accuses Myanmar junta of chemical warfare

The Arakan Army (AA) has claimed Myanmar’s junta has been using chemical weapons in Paletwa Township, Chin State, since Sunday, The Irrawaddy reports.

The AA, a member of the Brotherhood Alliance that launched Operation 1027 in northern Shan State, has been attacking the regime’s hilltop outposts in Traunaing and Hnonebuu villages in the township that borders Rakhine State since November 14.

Its statement said “chemical warfare agents” were dropped from Y-8 and Y-12 aircraft on Sunday evening.

U Khine Thu Kha, the AA’s spokesman, told The Irrawaddy that chemical bombs were also dropped on Monday.

“The fascist military twice dropped chemical bombs while we were attacking the Traunaing hilltop outpost. The junta is launching at least 30 airstrikes a day in Paletwa,” he said.

The junta denied the accusations.

U Khine Thu Kha said the Traunaing and Hnonebuu outposts had been used to oppress Chin and Rakhine communities in Paletwa Township.

The other two Brotherhood Alliance members, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), have reported the junta’s use of chemical weapons.

The TNLA reported that a chemical bomb was dropped on November 4 at Mong Kyat camp in Lashio Township, which had been seized from the regime.

It said TNLA soldiers suffered from dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, extreme agitation, fatigue and low oxygen levels in their blood.

On November 18, the TNLA said its troops suffered similar symptoms at the Sakhan Thit hill base in Namkham Township.

On November 23, the MNDAA stated that junta aircraft dropped four chemical bombs on a seized regime hilltop outpost in Namsalat village, Hseni Township, in northern Shan State.

MNDAA spokesman Li Jiawen warned of more chemical attacks, including on civilian targets, while the junta’s mouthpiece, Major General Zaw Min Tun, denied that chemical weapons had been used.

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