In the face of continuous gunfire and mortar shelling inside Myanmar close to the Bangladesh border for six hours on Saturday, local authorities have evacuated 30 families in Dochari and Ghumdhum unions in Naikhongchhari upazila in Bandarban, reports news agency UNB.
The sound of gunfire and mortar shelling on the Myanmar side of the international border, where the Myanmar army is engaged in fighting insurgency group the Arakan Army, started again on Saturday after a week’s lull.
Firing resumed on the Myanmar side of Bangladesh’s border – from Dochari to Ghumdhum union – at around 1:00 pm and continued until 6:30 pm, gripping the locals with fear.
Gunshots and explosions have often been heard in the border areas for a few months as the country’s military has been clashing with separatist groups.
At least 15 rounds of stray bullets from Myanmar landed in Bangladesh. Thirty families whose houses are too close to the border were evacuated to safety amid heavy shelling and firing inside Myanmar. There was no casualty inside Bangladesh
Md. Rahman, a local of Dochari union’s Jamchhari village, said the Arakan Army, an ethnic armed organisation based in Rakhine state, had stopped taking up positions near the border for a long time, instead operating deep inside Myanmar. “But over the past week, the Arakan Army has positioned itself closer to the border.”
Naikhongchhari sadar union parishad chairman Nurul Absar Imon, who is now in Jamchhari, said: “For several days, there was no firing in the area but it suddenly started again at 1:00 pm today and continued till 6:30 pm, sending a panic wave among the locals.”
“At least 15 rounds of stray bullets from Myanmar landed in Bangladesh. Thirty families whose houses are too close to the border were evacuated to safety amid heavy shelling and firing inside Myanmar. There was no casualty inside Bangladesh,” Imon added.
Also, firing has been continuing on the Myanmar side of Bangladesh’s Tombru of Ghumdhum for the past two months.
On 16 September, a Rohingya boy was killed and five others injured as a mortar shell fired by the Myanmar army exploded at Zero Point Rohingya Camp.
On the same day, another Bangladeshi youth was seriously injured in a landmine explosion along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Naikhongchhari upazila of Bandarban.
Locals said it was the Myanmarese army that had mined the area. One exploded near the Tombru border when the youth went there to bring back his cow.