Police and officials suspected of AA ties arrested in Kyaukphyu

Myanmar’s military arrested a number of police and other officials in northern Rakhine State’s Kyaukphyu Township on Sunday on suspicion of having ties to the Arakan Army (AA), according to local sources.

The detained include three police officers, an attorney, and an immigration officer. Sources say the arrests follow the capture of three local men late last week.

A source close to the police said that troops from Infantry Battalion (IB) 34 arrested Maung Maung Aye, a 50-year-old police sergeant, on Sunday at Kyaukphyu’s airport, while another sergeant named Myo Win Aung, 36, was contacted by phone later same day and told to turn himself in.

Also detained were attorney Oo San Win, 45, immigration officer Ma Kyi, 44, and marine police officer Htet Wai Lin, 30, who were all taken into custody at a housing compound for government employees.

“One was arrested in the afternoon, and the other two were arrested in the evening, all for allegedly supporting the AA,” a Kyaukphyu resident familiar with the situation told Myanmar Now.

“They are now making more arrests. Everyone is worried, including other government staff,” he added.

A day before the arrests, IB 34 troops detained two men named Zaw Myo Htun and Aung Myo Win in the Kyaukphyu Township village of Kulaba, according to sources.

“They arrived in civilian vehicles and fired several warning shots into the air when making the arrests. They also searched the neighbors’ houses. They took four motorbikes from Aung Myo Win’s motorbike repair shop and refrigerators and other items from other houses,” said a village resident.

On Friday, five IB 34 troops in plainclothes also arrested another man named Kyaw Hla Aung in Kyaukphyu’s Zayti Taung Ward, sources there reported.

The latest arrests come a month after four other government officials, including the chief officer of the Land Records Department, were taken into custody in Kyaukphyu.

Two staff members of the Land Records Department have since been released, but chief officer Htun Htun Win, 52, and survey clerk Khin Maung remain in custody.

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