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Friday, May 3, 2019

Six people killed, eight injured in Rakhine unrest.

MYANMAR TIMES
NYAN LYNN AUNG| 03 MAY 2019

Members of the Myanmar Red Cross Society carry a wounded man from a boat to Sittwe Hospital in Rakhine State on Thursday. Photo - EPA

Six people were killed and eight others injured during a disturbance at a school compound where hundreds of villagers were being detained by government forces in a village in Rathedaung township, Rakhine State, a senior spokesman of the Tatmadaw (military) said on Thursday.

Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun said the casualties happened before dawn on Thursday when some detainees crowded around the police officers guarding them, and the police fired warning shots to stop them.
“The detainees tried to seize the firearms of the police and military forces, forcing the troops to fire at them,” Brig Gen Zaw Min Tun said.
He said that the eight people who were injured were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, while those who died were being kept by the police for forensic examination.

The victims were among 250 villagers detained by the military at a school compound in Kyauk Tan village after the troops overran a nearby Arakan Army camp.

A military statement said that AA fighters in the area were able to escape from the camp as the incident occurred.

It added that some of the fighters ran toward Kyauk Tan and Zayti Taung villages and disguised themselves as ordinary villagers.

The statement said Tatmadaw forces entered the two villages to flush out the AA fighters who were posing as civilians.

It said the troops found 275 “suspicious people,” aged 15 to 50-years-old who were not included on the household lists in the two villages. 
“The detainees were temporarily placed in the school compound while their identities were verified,” it said.
Brig Gen Zaw Min Tun said that those found to have links with the AA will be charged in court. 

U Oo Than Naing, a legislator for Rathedaung in the Rakhine parliament, said on Thursday that the military did not allow legislators to observe the detainees. He confirmed the deaths and injuries but said he had no other details. 

“People in the township are anxious about the detention of the villagers,” he said.

The military and AA have engaged in sporadic clashes since late last year.

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