YANGON, Myanmar – Twelve people have died in the north of Myanmar’s Rakhine state in clashes between armed men and troops, state media reported Wednesday, October 12, in a sharp escalation of violence in the restive region.
Four soldiers and one attacker were killed on Tuesday, October 11, when hundreds of men wielding pistols and swords assailed troops in Pyaungpit village, in Maungdaw township.
Troops also found 7 dead along with with rudimentary weapons after fighting broke out in the nearby village of Taung Paing Nyar.
“After the incident, troops found 7 dead bodies,” the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar reported.
“Swords and sticks were found with the bodies.”
The military been scouring the region, not far from the border with Bangladesh, after 9 police officers were killed on Sunday, October 9, in coordinated attacks on 3 border posts.
Most people in the impoverished area are Muslim Rohingya, a stateless minority Buddhist nationalists vilify as illegal immigrants.
The unrest has raised the specter of a repeat of 2012 when sectarian violence ripped through Rakhine, killing more than 100 people and driving tens of thousands of Rohingya into displacement camps.
Four men suspected of being involved in Sunday’s attacks, two of whom were named as Andra Mular Kein and Mawlawi Fordita Laung by state media, were also captured on Tuesday. – Rappler.com