Bangladesh summons Myanmar envoy over cross-border shelling

Bangladesh’s foreign ministry on Tuesday summoned Myanmar’s ambassador to explain the cross-border shelling that killed two people in Bandarban on Monday, The Irrawaddy reports.

The ministry’s chief of relations with Myanmar, Mian Md Mainul Kabir, handed a letter of protest to the regime’s envoy Aung Kyaw Moe in Dhaka over the shelling from Rakhine State, according to Bangladeshi officials.

Bangladesh’s foreign minister Hasan Mahmud later told the press that around 30 mortar shells landed inside Bangladesh, killing two civilians.

Bandarban district chief Shah Mujahid Uddin said the authorities had relocated approximately 180 families to safer locations since heavy fighting began along the border and mortars landed inside Bangladesh.

He said the two deaths occurred in a hitherto peaceful area.

The district administrator visited the border on Tuesday and said about 30 of the 50 families in the area had been relocated.

Ghumdum Union Council member Shafikul Islam said the authorities had set up a shelter but most villagers had already moved to stay with relatives in safer places.

Fleeing junta troops

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) in Cox’s Bazar says 158 junta troops crossed the border on Tuesday.

BGB chief Major General Mohammad Ashrafuzzaman Siddiqui said the troops were disarmed and taken into safe custody.

The BGB headquarters has reported that 264 regime personnel, including border guards and immigration staff, have entered Bangladesh from Rakhine State since Sunday.

Maj Gen Siddiqui said he met Myanmar’s defense attache on Monday to discuss their repatriation.

Forced Rohingya repatriations

He added that 65 Rohingyas tried to cross the border by boat and were taken into custody. “We are in the process of pushing them back,” he told reporters.

Bangladesh’s law minister Anisul Huq told the Dhaka parliament on Monday that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina instructed the armed forces and BGB to show patience during the conflict between Myanmar’s regime and the Arakan Army in Rakhine State, according to a Dhaka-based daily.

“Bangladesh is observing the situation closely and steps will be taken,” said Huq.

The minister said the authorities were in dialogue with Myanmar’s junta to send the Rohingya back.

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