Multiple military planes were observed landing in Rakhine State’s northern Maungdaw Township on Tuesday, as skirmishes between the junta’s forces and the Arakan Army (AA) raged nearby, according to locals.
At 9 a.m., violence broke out between the villages of Mee Taik and Nga Yant Chaung.
“The combat started this morning, and we’ve been hearing loud booms from heavy weapons ever since,” a Maungdaw resident said that afternoon to Myanmar Now.
A Mee Taik local stated that the combat took occurred around a mile north of the settlement.
“Junta planes also arrived. “They landed at Taung Pyo Let Wea,” he claimed, referring to a town two miles from the site of the clash and home to a Myanmar army tactical base.
Eyewitnesses in town said helicopters arrived at the facility three times that afternoon, but they couldn’t confirm whether they had airlifted troops to the spot, a procedure that has become more common in offensives in resistance strongholds like Sagaing Region.
“We can’t even leave our houses right now,” one Taung Pyo Let Wea resident explained, referring to the town’s continuous violence.
Helicopters were also observed bringing soldiers to a military facility in Maungdaw town, around 40 miles south of the battle scene.
An earlier clash between the AA and the junta’s forces occurred near mile marker 41 on Maungdaw’s border with Bangladesh on August 13, with an AA statement and regional media outlets claiming that a major from the military’s Infantry Battalion 20 under the Sittwe Regional Operations Command was killed.
Battles erupted elsewhere in Maungdaw, as well as in neighboring Rathedaung Township and Paletwa, Chin State’s southernmost town. According to local news reports, 700 people from at least two villages were relocated in Rathedaung alone.
According to Rakhine State media, more than 30 junta personnel were slain in the conflict. Following the battles, the AA issued its own statement, claiming to have seized military drones, explosives, guns, and food supplies from the junta.
According to local sources, there were also an unconfirmed number of AA casualties.
The military council has not made any statements about the recent battles.
AA spokeswoman Khaing Thukha stated at a press conference on August 11 that the Myanmar army had evacuated from many posts in Maungdaw amid rising tensions in the region following the AA’s detention of 14 junta personnel in mid-July.
The military council had earlier arrested several AA negotiating officers in May.
After two years of warfare, the AA and the military agreed to an informal ceasefire in late 2020, with clashes resuming in late 2021.
Source: Myanmar Now