Explosions heard across border amid Myanmar clashes

DESK REPORT

As conflict persists within Myanmar, loud explosions have been heard in Bangladesh, signaling ongoing clashes across the border.

These explosions began on Monday morning (April 9) and were intermittently heard through to Tuesday afternoon, instilling fear among the residents near the border.

Locals report the sounds of gunfire, bombs, and mortar shells exploding from the Myanmar side have been terrifying. Over a hundred mortar shell explosions were reported from Monday morning, continuing through the night and into Tuesday afternoon.

The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and the Coast Guard remain on high alert. The forces are also vigilant to prevent any infiltration by Rohingya refugees.

Reports from the border indicate that the sounds of explosions are emanating from areas such as Whykong and Hnila, on the eastern border, specifically from the northern Bolibazar, Shilkhali, Nakpura, Hasyurata, and Nakhongdia regions of Myanmar’s Mongdu city. The conflict appears to have spread to these areas, with clashes reported between the Arakan Army and Myanmar’s military forces.

In particular, about 30 villages including Sabrang Union, Saint Martin, Shahporir Dwip, and several areas within Whykong and Hnila Union, have reported hearing the sound of explosions.

Md. Foyez, a resident of Lejipara in Sabrang Union, expressed the constant fear among locals, saying, “The sound of gunfire disrupts our sleep. It’s like constant lightning. Such loud explosions are unheard of before. We live in fear every day.”

Abdus Samad, a salt farmer from Hnila Union, shared his apprehension about working in the fields due to the fear of being hit by stray bullets. “It’s just gunfire and the sound of gunfire all the time. Only Allah knows the end to this,” he said.

Siddik Ahmed, a UP member from Sabrang Union, remarked on the severity of the situation, noting that the entire Teknaf area is reeling from the impact of mortar shells and explosions. “Fear mounts daily among the populace. Unlike the intermittent explosions heard on other days, today the explosions have been relentless,” he added.

Md. Khorshed Alam, a UP member from Saint Martin Union Parishad, observed that the conflict in Myanmar is escalating, affecting the daily lives and sleep of the people on Saint Martin’s Island.

Lieutenant Colonel Md. Mohiuddin Ahmed, commander of the Teknaf-2 BGB Battalion, stated that the situation in Rakhine is under close surveillance. “Since last Saturday, gunfire and clashes have resumed in Myanmar. To prevent any potential infiltration, BGB patrols along the Naf River and the border have been intensified,” he added.

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