The notorious ethnic Rakhine rebels from the Arakan Army (AA) have killed 13 prisoners after a pre-dawn attack on four police stations near the Bangladesh border. The Arakan Army claims to represent the Buddhist ethnic group who make up the majority in the Rakhine state.
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The official Myanmar News Agency said four police posts in the Buthidaung area in northern Rakhine came under attack from hundreds of Arakan Army (AA) fighters after daybreak on Friday.
The deep ethnic and religious enmity in the state has displaced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims. In 2017 alone, thousands of families have had to flee across the border to India and Bangladesh.
According to the Nation, the AA is calling for greater autonomy for the ethnic Rakhine Buddhist population. Since December 2018, the United Nations says that 2,500 people have been driven out of their homes when clashes broke out with the AA.
As per various media reports, the Myanmar military announced a four-month ceasefire in the north and northeast of the country to kick-start stalled peace talks with the armed rebellions. According to Channel Asia, Rakhine was excluded from the pause and this, in turn, had rumour mills rolling that the military was not willing to bring an end to Myanmar’s conflicts.
Following the recent-most attack, hundreds of border guard police have been deployed in areas far from the border with Bangladesh. This is part of a broader military offensive against the rebel group. Myanmar Military spokesman Zaw Min Tun said the attacks began soon after the national flag was raised to mark Myanmar’s 71 years of independence from the British.
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