A spokesperson for the Arakan Army (AA) says that the rebel militia clashed yesterday with Burmese government forces in Paletwa Township, Chin State, and claimed that at least 10 Burmese soldiers were killed.
AA’s Khaing Thukha told DVB that several rebel units engaged in at least three clashes after Burmese troops advanced on their positions in the villages of Ahtet Pi and Auk Pi.
“We engaged in fierce fighting with the Tatmadaw [Burmese armed forces] 55th and 20th Infantry Battalions for about two hours, between 11am and 1pm on 12 December,” said Khaing Thukha. “The Tatmadaw were about 100 strong, but we killed at least 10 of them.”
He said that the AA suffered some injuries but no deaths.
At the time of press, the Burmese military had published no report on the alleged clash.
Paletwa, situated along the Kaladan River in southern Chin state, is only 125 kilometres from Arakan State capital Sittwe.
The AA spokesman said he expected clashes to continue, and blamed the Burmese army for provoking hostilities.
“The clashes broke out due to the Burmese army’s advance on our strongholds. The fighting is on-going and likely to continue for a while. We have obtained reports of the Tatmadaw sending reinforcements into the area,” he said, adding that some 200 local villagers were displaced from their homes due to the fighting.
The AA has engaged in sporadic clashes with Burmese government forces in western Burma since last year.