Three ‘Arsa men’ held in Rab raid

Rab on Thursday arrested three key members of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, an insurgent group, at a refugee camp in Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar.

Lt Col Sazzad Hossain, commander of Rab-15, said after the arrests, 22 firearms and over 100 bullets were seized during a raid on Camp 20 (Extension).

He said the arrestees were Usman, commander of the armed Arsa members; Nesar, who makes landmines; and Imam Hossain, a firearm user.

Tipped off about the presence of six or seven Arsa members who were behind the recent incidents of fire at the camps, a Rab team began the raid on Lal Pahar before daybreak, said Abu Salam Chowdhury, senior assistant director (media) of Rab-15.

Rab Commander Sajjad told a press briefing that the other Arsa men managed to flee.

They were at Lal Pahar at the instruction of Arsa leaders Ataullah Jununi and Master Khaled, he said.

Sajjad said when Rab arrested Samiuddin a couple of months ago, Arsa appointed Usman as the “gun group commander”.

Before becoming an Arsa operative, Usman used to work as a source for the military of a neighbouring country. In 2017, Usman’s family was displaced by the Myanmar government. Then he escaped with an AK-47 rifle and joined Arsa, Sajjad said.

He added that Usman admitted that he had killed two people.

Nesar, another arrestee, made more than 500 mines, said the officer.

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