Arakan Army continues to battle junta troops in Myanmar’s Rakhine State

Clashes between the Arakan Army (AA) and the junta’s military continued to break out on Wednesday in northern Rakhine State and in the southernmost tip of Chin State, according to residents and the AA, reports The Irrawaddy.

Intense. clashes occurred in Chin State’s Paletwa Township as the AA continued attacks on two junta tactical deployment posts in Tarunaing and Hnonebu villages on Wednesday. Residents say the clashes in Paletwa began on November 14 and that tension remains extremely high.

“It has been over a week since the clashes broke out around Paletwa Township as the AA tries to seize two bases,” a resident of the township said.

The township has been shelled daily from inside the two bases, while junta jets have bombed it daily, residents say.

At least four residents of the township have been killed and eight more injured by the junta military’s airstrikes and shelling since November 14. With transport routes closed, the price of food and other necessities has surged, they said.

Junta’s spokesman Zaw Min Tun told a November 16 press conference that regime troops have been fighting back hard against the AA’s frequent attacks on the base in Tarunaing village.

He accused the AA of undermining development in Rakhine Sta, saying Tarunaing is on a major route connecting Myanmar and India.

The AA vowed on Wednesday, however, that it will not stop attacking junta bases until the troops inside them surrender. It said junta troops have been committing war crimes.

The AA launched an attack on Kha Htee Hla outpost in Butheedaung Township on the morning of November 18 and seized in at 8 am on November 21, according to the AA and residents.

“After suffering heavy casualties, the junta’s police and military troops inside the outpost fled into another outpost nearby. The AA chased them and kept fighting them in the jungle,” a resident of Butheedaung said. During the three days of fighting for the base, the junta’s military launched airstrikes on Kha Htee Hla and another five villages nearby, forcing thousands of residents to flee, the source added.

Cashes continued to break out in Pauktaw Town on Wednesday where the AA saved more than 100 residents who had been taken hostage on Tuesday. The AA also led other residents out of the town, it said.

The junta’s military sent a MiG 35 helicopter and a jet fighter to Pauktaw at around 10 am Wednesday. They dropped bombs and used machine guns to fire indiscriminately in the town, including a hill where Law Ka Hteik Pan pagoda is located, according to residents and a statement released by the AA.

It began fighting the junta military’s Border Guard posts in Rakhine State on November 13, saying this was part of Operation 1027. Within 10 days, the AA seized four junta outposts in Rakhine State and claimed more than 40 more that had been abandoned by junta troops.

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