The Arakan Army reported clashing with Burmese government forces in Arakan State on Thursday morning.
The ethnic armed group’s spokesperson, Khaing Thukha, said Arakan Army troops traded fire with the Burmese Army in an area north of the town of Buthidaung.
“A clash took place near the headwaters of the Mayu River, between the AA’s 214th Battalion and a Burmese Army unit under the 5th Military Operations Command. The Burmese Army later retreated, indicating there could be casualties among their troops,” Khaing Thukha told DVB.
He said the area was held by the Arakan Army and the clash broke out when Tatmadaw troops encroached on the territory.
Thursday’s altercation was the first clash reported between the two sides in Arakan State in several months.
Meanwhile, the Chin National Front, an ethnic armed group in neighbouring Chin State, recently issued an ultimatum directed at the Arakan Army, which it ordered to cease activities in Chin State or face military action.
In response to the CNF ultimatum, Khaing Thukha said the Arakan Army would be forced to retaliate if its troops were to come under attack.
“We are ready to retaliate [against] whoever comes into an area where we are based without prior announcement,” said Khaing Thukha.
The Arakan Army is a member of the Northern Alliance, a coalition of four ethnic armed groups that engaged in hostilities with government forces late last year in northern Burma, where the Arakan Army has received military training and maintains a troop presence.