Myanmar junta grip weakens on Maungdaw and Thandwe: Arakan Army

More than 750 Myanmar junta personnel have been killed in Maungdaw and Thandwe townships in Rakhine State in three months, according to the Arakan Army (AA), The Irrawaddy reports.

The AA’s offensive to seize Thandwe, the town next to Myanmar’s most popular beach, Ngapali, started on April 13. It said it has seized over 15 infantry battalions, overpowering reinforcements from Ayeyarwady Region and Thandwe-based militias. The group said it has killed over 400 junta troops and seized large amounts of arms and ammunition.

The AA said on Sunday that Infantry Battalion 55 in Thandwe is the final junta-held base in the town.

Thandwe is being shelled from five junta vessels in the Bay of Bengal and surrounding army bases while the regime is using fighter jets and drones to carry out airstrikes.

The AA said it seized Battalion 566 in Thandwe on June 27, pushing junta troops back to Thandwe airport and some of the town’s hotels.

It said the airport fell on Saturday but Infantry Battalion 55, with Infantry Battalion 252 troops from Pakokku, continues to hold out in Thandwe. The armed group said the battle for Thandwe had been the toughest of its current campaign against the junta, which started in November last year.

The AA continues to attack the final junta-held town in northern Rakhine State, Maungdaw.

It said a Border Guard Division 2 and an Operations Command headquarters fell on Saturday, with the deaths of more than 350 junta personnel and the seizure of many arms and ammunition.

The AA said on Sunday that it continues to attack Border Guard Division 5 headquarters in Myo Thu Gyi and other junta bases around Maungdaw.

The AA says it fully controls 11 of Rakhine State’s 17 townships.

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