Arakan Army takes Rathedaung, its eighth town seizure in Rakhine State

The ethnic Rakhine armed group overtook three military bases as the junta retaliates elsewhere with airstrikes and artillery fire targeting civilians

The Arakan Army (AA) seized Rathedaung, a major town connecting the Rakhine capital of Sittwe with the state’s north, on Sunday, according to a statement released by the ethnic armed organisation. 

Despite heavy military offensives by the junta from the ground, water, and air, the AA said it captured three bases belonging to Infantry Battalions (IBs) 536, 537, and 538 at 4pm in the town, located on the Mayu River upstream from Sittwe. 

Fighting between the AA and the junta resumed last November, resulting in mass displacement. Residents have fled Rathedaung, warned by the AA not to return until mines left by the junta have been located and deactivated. 

In its Sunday statement, the AA noted that around 200 junta soldiers escaped the attack by leaving on navy boats, abandoning the bodies of slain troops and ethnic Rohingya conscripts, who the AA referred to as “Bengalis. . .

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