Arakan militia claims it was ambushed

Arakan militia claims it was ambushed

The Arakan Liberation Army (ALA) says one of its fighters is missing in action and another was captured as the militia clashed with the Arakan Army (AA) in western Burma earlier this week.

In a statement on Thursday, the ALA said the clash took place on 21 June when the group came under fire from the AA in Paletwa, a town in Chin State near the borders with Bangladesh and India.

ALA spokesman Khine Aung Soe Than said one of their units was attacked as it was returning to base from ALA headquarters.

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“Our unit was returning to their base in the triangle [border] region when the AA opened fire on them. We then engaged them in gunfire,” he said.

However, AA spokesperson Khine Thukha denied knowledge of any clash or that his group took an ALA soldier captive.

“I’m not aware of that – I need to check with our people. I saw posts about it on Facebook but when I asked our personnel, they told me there had been no recent fighting,” he said.

The ALA said it is embarrassing that Arakanese armed groups would fight among themselves, and that both groups should resolve issues peacefully and avoid bloodshed.

The ALA is a signatory to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement with the government. The AA has not engaged in ceasefire talks with the government, and clashes with the Burmese army continue.

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