Two civilians killed in clash between AA, junta troops in Maungdaw

The Arakan Army (AA) attacked a vehicle carrying junta soldiers in Rakhine State’s Maungdaw Township on Monday, killing the owner and the driver of the vehicle, according to local sources.

The vehicle was near the village of Hpar Wat Chaung, about 25km from the town of Maungdaw, when it came under attack at around 11:30pm, the sources said.

The two confirmed casualties were killed in the ensuing exchange of fire, which lasted about 30 minutes, residents of the area told Myanmar Now.

“They were only around 100m from Hpar Wat Chaung. The truck belonged to a woman in the timber business, but it was carrying soldiers,” said a local man who did not want to be named.

According to the man, the truck’s owner, 50-year-old Saw Khin Hla, was on her way back from the village of Kyein Chaung with a load of timber when she picked up the soldiers.

Her body was collected by local residents on Tuesday morning, according to another man from the area.

“We still don’t know what happened to the body of the driver, but we saw an ambulance heading towards Maungdaw this morning,” he said.

It was unclear if there were any casualties among the AA or junta troops involved in the clash.

The incident occurred just 8km from Kyee Kan Pyin, where Border Guard Police Command No. (1) is located.

Since the attack, the road between Maungdaw and Kyein Chaung, which passes Kyee Kan Pyin, has been closed, residents of the area reported.

There have been a number of clashes between the AA and the military in northern Rakhine State in recent months, including one on Sunday that trapped locals caught in the crossfire.

The latest tensions began last November, about a year after the two sides entered into an informal ceasefire agreement after two years of fierce fighting that claimed the lives of many civilians and displaced thousands more.

According to residents, the sound of artillery fire could be heard from the Wai La hills in Maungdaw from around 11am on Tuesday. It was not clear, however, if there was any fighting.

Myanmar’s military junta hasn’t released any information relating to the recent clashes in Rakhine State. It has also denied the reports of fighting in November.

Myanmar Now reached out to the regime’s information officers and to AA spokesperson Khaing Thukha for comment, but has not received a response.

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