Arakan Army says it rescued 100 civilian hostages from Myanmar junta forces in Rakhine

Ethnic Rakhine armed group the Arakan Army (AA) said it has rescued some 100 civilians held hostage by Myanmar military regime forces in Pauktaw town in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State, reports The Irrawaddy.

Regime warships and aircraft bombarded Pauktaw town on Nov. 16 after the AA seized the main police station there. Many civilians fled Pauktaw following the junta’s strikes, but a few hundred were trapped in the town. The regime detained some of them to use as human shields.

The AA attacked junta deployments in Pauktaw town on Tuesday and rescued some 100 civilians who had been detained by the regime for six days.

The two sides clashed heavily during the rescue operations and both sides suffered casualties, the AA said. The regime used air and artillery strikes, as well as warships and a multiple rocket launcher system during the fighting, said the AA, which posted a video file of the junta’s strikes. Weapons were also seized from junta troops.

The AA said it continues to attack junta troops in Pauktaw town as it tries to rescue the remaining hostages.

The Myanmar military regime said on Tuesday, however, that there were only skirmishes in the area, while junta soldiers and police conducted patrols around the town.

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