Top commander of ARSA dies in gunfight at Ukhia camp: APBn

Dead Body
Prothom Alo illustration

A Rohingya man has been killed in clashes and exchange of gunfire between the Armed Police Battalion and the armed Myanmar organisation, Arakan Salvation Army, at a camp in Balukhali of Ukhia in Cox’s Bazar, said APBn.

Deceased Md Hossain, 40, was a top commander of ARSA, claimed APBn.

The incident has created panic among general Rohingya population.

The incident took place at Block-C of the Rohingya camp at around 5:00 am. The law enforcement recovered two firearms, 10 rounds of bullet, walkytalky, mobile phone and other equipment from the area.

Earlier, there was exchange of gunfire between two armed groups of Myanmar – ARSA and RSO – at Balukhali camp-8 (west) on Friday, leaving six ARSA members dead. Since then a joint operation led by APBn is being conducted at the camps. Eleven armed Rohingya men have been detained in the last two days.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, APBn commander and police’s additional deputy inspector general Syed Harun Ar Rashid, who is in charge of the security of the camp, said an APBn team raided at the Hatirdeba camp early Monday. At that time, ARSA terrorists opened gunfire to police forcing them to retaliate. When additional force joined the operations at around 6:00 am, the terrorists went into hiding in the hilly forests. Later, bullet-hit Md Hossain was recovered from there and taken to a camp hospital where physician declared him dead, he added.

Syed Harun Ar Rashid also said Hossain was ARSA’s top commander, who used to lead the armed group’s activities at camps 9, 10, 11 and 17.

Wishing not to be named, several Rohingya leaders said the general Rohingya people are in panic over the death of six ARSA members. ARSA and RSO terrorists have been wielding guns at their hideouts in the camps.

Ukhia police station officer-in-charge Sheikh Mohammad Ali said they were taking preparation to send the body of deceased ARSA commander Md Hossain to Cox’s Bazar General Hospital for autopsy after completing an inquest report.

According to police and Rohingya leaders, at least 58 people have been killed in clashes and incidents of gun firing at the Rohingya camps in the last six months. Of them, 17 are Rohingya leaders, 18 ARSA members, and one volunteer while the rest 22 are general Rohingya people.