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Twenty-one killed in airstrike on Rohingya village; Arakan Army claims control in Rathedaung Township

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Twenty-one killed in airstrike on Rohingya village

At least 21 civilians, including children, were killed and 25 others were injured by an airstrike carried out on Thada village in Minbya Township of Arakan State on Monday. At least 10 houses were damaged. 

Thada village, located three miles north of Minbya town, is predominantly inhabited by Rohingya. Several airstrikes have been carried out on Minbya Township since the Arakan Army (AA) took control of it from the military in mid-February. The AA called for everyone living in its territory to protect themselves from airstrikes and artillery. 

At least five civilians were killed and more than 10 were injured by artillery when a shell landed in a Rohingya neighborhood of Sittwe on March 9. The U.N. stated on March 3 that more than 170 civilians have been killed and over 400 have been injured since fighting resumed in Arakan State on Nov. 13. 

Arakan Army claims control in Rathedaung Township

The AA claimed that it seized control of Rathedaung town on Sunday after a two-week-long attack on military outposts in the township. It claimed to have recovered bodies of Rohingya who had received military training by the Burma Army. 

“The AA has seized Pauktaw, Ponnagyun and Rathedaung, which are close to Sittwe Township. This means that the AA can reach [the state capital] soon,” said a Sittwe resident. He added that many are fleeing their homes in anticipation of an AA assault on the city.

It has taken control of seven townships in Arakan and Paletwa Township in southern Chinland since November. Military war ships transported around 200 Burma Army personnel that fled from its outposts in Rathedaung Township. 

Thai parliament proposes expanded troika on Burma

The Committee on Foreign Affairs in Thailand’s House of Representatives pressed for the establishment of a “Myanmar troika plus” including Bangkok, Beijing, New Delhi, and Vientiane – the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Bangkok Post reported.

“We are not short of ideas, but we must step up our efforts. The conflict in Myanmar is complex, but it is not too difficult for ASEAN and Thailand to push for peace,” said Noppadon Pattama, the chair of the committee and a member of parliament from Thailand’s Pheu Thai Party-led government. 

The proposed initiative is meant to strengthen Thai diplomatic efforts in Burma. Other parts of the plan include establishing a panel of experts to help respond to Burma’s crisis and to deliver humanitarian aid to everyone affected by conflict, along with contingency plans for a possible escalation of fighting near the Thai-Burma border.

News by Region

A flash mob anti-military protest was held in Yangon on Sunday. (Credit: Yangon Revolution Force)

YANGON—The activist group Yangon Revolution Force staged a flash mob protest in Yangon on Sunday. They raised cloth banners with slogans such as “Oppose the regime’s unlawful conscription law” and  “Yangon rebels.”

The regime announced the enforcement of its conscription law on Feb. 10 which requires men aged 18 to 35 and women aged 18 to 27 to serve in the military for at least two years. Forced recruitment has been reported in Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyidaw. An unknown number have fled the country to avoid conscription. 

ARAKAN—Two civilians were killed and at least ten others were injured, including women and three children, by airstrikes carried out on Mrauk-U Sunday. Many homes were destroyed. “A fighter jet dropped bombs in at least four places. More than ten civilians are receiving urgent medical treatment,” said a Mrauk U resident. The AA seized control of Mrauk-U on Feb. 8.  

KACHIN—The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) captured seven military outposts along the Taping River in Momauk Township on Sunday. An unnamed source close to the KIA told DVB that it is pursuing Burma Army personnel who fled from the outposts.

SAGAING—Two women returning to the Kachin State capital of Myitkyina were killed and one was injured after their vehicle activated a landmine near Taoam village in Shwebo Township, along the Myitkyina-Mandalay highway, on Sunday. 

“It is unknown if the vehicle was intentionally attacked with the landmine,” said an unnamed rescue team member. One of the victims’ bodies was collected by relatives and sent back to her hometown of Myitkyina. 

Read our latest contribution: India’s deportation of Myanmar refugees sparks concern. If you have a story idea, email [email protected].

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