Over 3,000 people displaced in Rathedaung as military and AA fight for control of hill 

More than 3,000 people have been displaced by fighting this month between the Arakan Army (AA) and the military in Rathedaung township in northern Rakhine, a relief volunteer has said. 

Residents fled from at least five villages along the May Yu river in Kyauktan region between October 5 and October 13, said Tun Myint, the head of a committee helping the displaced  people in Zay Di Pyin village.

The village has been overwhelmed by new arrivals and people are sleeping in monasteries and schools, Tun Myint said.

The arrivals have come from Auk Kyaung Taung, Sapho Kyin, Kan Pyin, Aung Zay Kone and Pyin Wunn villages, which have been caught in attacks by the Army, Navy and the Air Force.

San Htun, a displaced villager from Aung Zay Kone sheltering in the Zay Di Pyin village, said he fled after artillery shells from a military boat on the May Yu river hit his village.

“It wasn’t just one shot. There were shelling homes, schools, and religious buildings,” he said.

Khin Maung Latt, the Rathedaung representative in the Amyotha Hluttaw, said some houses in Aung Tharzi village caught fire when shells landed. 

There was intense fighting in Kyauktan on October 3 and 4 as the Tatmadaw and the AA fought for control of a strategically important hill in the region. 

Both the military and the AA claimed they had taken control of the hill base on October 4. 

“The Air Force and the Navy were firing from seven different places. Imagine how intense it was,” said a local from Kyauk Tan who asked not to be named. “It doesn’t seem like the conflict will stop. It will most likely continue.”

Bekka, another resident who goes by one name, said he felt the ground shake as Infantry Battalions 536, 537 and 538 fired artillery shells during the fighting. 

“We could hear the sound of artillery fire. There was bombing around Kyauktan from two jets. There’s no one living there because they ran away a long time ago.,” he said.

As of October 1, more than 226,000 people have been displaced by the conflict, according to the Rakhine Ethnic Congress.



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