Arakan Army attacks junta ships on Rakhine State river

Two children and a pregnant woman were injured when heavy artillery fired from a junta marine vessel hit a village in Rakhine State’s Minbya Township on Monday, locals said. 

The victims were identified as 23-year-old Ohmar San, as well as minors Bu Maung, 13, and Khaing Zan Che, age three. Their wounds, caused by shrapnel, were reportedly not critical. 

At 10:30am, the Arakan Army (AA) attacked two military boats travelling from Sittwe along the Kywel Ku River five miles south of Minbya town, leading to a clash in the area which lasted 30 minutes. 

Residents of the nearby Khaung Laung Chaung village, home to 700 households and located a half mile from the river bank, sought refuge in the community’s larger structures during the shootout. 

“The locals took shelter in the monastery and the community hall. A shell that I think was fired by the navy vessels fell inside the village, injuring the victims,” a man from Khaung Laung Chaung told Myanmar Now. 

Ohmar San, who was injured in the shelling of Khaung Laung Chaung village (Supplied)

He added that eyewitnesses claimed to have seen smoke rising from one of the Myanmar military boats, concluding that it may have been damaged during the battle. 

The military also launched airstrikes on the area. 

“The air force’s aircrafts hovered over the area and fired shots. The air force arrived in the area near our village before the navy did,” the man said. 

Another local added that the navy vessels continued onward towards Minbya after the clash, while a helicopter provided cover for the ship by shooting indiscriminately into the area that afternoon. 

“The helicopter is firing shots from above right now. We are all hiding and we can’t go out,” the local said at around 2:30pm on Monday. 

Since August, the military and the AA have been engaging in serious clashes in Buthidaung, Maungdaw, Minbya, Mrauk-U, Rathedaung and Taungup townships in Rakhine State and Paletwa in southern Chin State. 

The AA intercepted two junta vessels carrying weapons, supplies and reinforcement troops in northern Rakhine State on September 19, and another ship in Taungup on September 16. 

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