Extremist terrorists staged a coordinated series of attacks on dozens of police outposts in in northern Rakhine yesterday, leaving 77 extremist terrorists, two arrested and 12 members of the security forces dead.
The fighting, which began at about 1am and continued throughout the day, was a major escalation in the ongoing conflict in Rakhine State since last October, when similar attacks prompted a major military sweep. Myanmar officials said yesterday’s attacks seemed to be intentionally scheduled with the release Thursday of the report by an advisory commission led by former UN chief Kofi Annan and the upcoming UN meetings in New York.
“The coordinated attacks were timed to coincide with the release of the final report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State and the UN General Assembly, which is scheduled to be held from 12 to 25 September,” said a statement of the Information Committee of the Office of the State Counsellor.
Kofi Annan condemned the violence yesterday, saying “no cause can justify such brutality and senseless killing”.
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a group previously known as Harakah al-Yaqin, which instigated the October attacks, claimed responsibility for the early morning offensive, and warned of more, Reuters reported.
The extremist terrorists began the coordinated attacks by throwing an improvised explosive device (IED) into a police station in the district at 1am, officials said.
Following the attacks, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi held an emergency meeting with Union Ministers, discussing urgent measures and long-term plans for restoring peace and stability in Rakhine State.
It was attended by Union Minister for Home Affairs Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe, Union Minister for Defence Lt-Gen Sein Win, Union Minister for Border Affairs Lt-Gen Ye Aung, Union Minister for the Office of the State Counsellor U Kyaw Tint Swe, and National Security Adviser U Thaung Tun.
The United Nations condemned a “coordinated series of attacks” on Myanmar security forces on Friday and called on all sides in the crisis in the northern state of Rakhine to refrain from violence.
The sustained, planned terrorist attacks drew quick rebuke from western countries.
“We condemn the attacks that took place overnight against the security forces, and we offer condolences to victims and their families”, a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Yangon said. “We recognise the government and security forces have the responsibility to act to apprehend the perpetrators and prevent further violence, and we urge them to do so in a way that protects all innocent civilians”.
A statement from the British Embassy in Yangon similarly denounced the attacks.
“The situation in Rakhine State cannot be improved through violence, and we condemn last nights attacks,” the statement from the British Embassy said.
Following the 1 am bombing of a district police station, an unknown number of extremist terrorists attacked Nanthataung Police Station at 3:35 am, resulting in the death of one policeman and one terrorist.
The police outpost in Thinbawgwe came under attack at 3:45 am by about 100 terrorists. One terrorist was killed in the attack.
The Kyikyun Outpost was attacked by an unknown number of terrorists at 5:25 am, leaving five policemen, including one officer, injured. The attackers withdrew at 5:30 am, according to the State Counsellor’s Office.
At 4:20 am, an unknown number of extremist terrorists opened fire on the Mitaik Chaungwa police outpost and also attacked police with machetes, killing two policemen. Three weapons were stolen from the outpost by the attackers, who withdrew at about 4:45 am.
Dozens of other police stations and outposts were attacked by extremists yesterday including locations in Natchaun Launddon, Maungni, Thiho, Zinpaingnya, Kyaukpyinseik, Padinkaung, Panyaungky and Shweyinaye.
An attack on the Zipinchaung police outpost by an estimated 150 terrorists at 4:30 am caused the death of one policeman. One communication machine and one weapon were stolen from the outpost by terrorists.
In the attack on the Chainkharli outpost, one terrorist was killed.
The Myinlut police outpost came under attack by an estimated 100 extremist terrorists at 4:45 am. Two policemen were killed and two arms were stolen by terrorists.
An immigration officer was killed in a 4:50 am attack on Ale Thankyaw police outpost.
About 100 extremist terrorists attacked the Udaung outpost at 5:10 am, while a group of the terrorists also staged a dawn attack on the Hnarkaungto outpost.
Six bodies of extremist terrorists were found after the attack on the Kotankauk police outpost.
About 10 terrorists also attacked the Taungbazar Police outpost at 3:40 am. Police fought back before the terrorists withdrew, leaving five bodies of attackers.
In the attack on the Phaungtawpyin outpost at 4:25 am, two policemen were killed. The bodies of two terrorists were also found.
The terrorists also attacked a traffic police office and a local anti-drug office with IEDs and also destroyed an old concrete bridge.
After the morning attacks on security posts and police stations in the Maungtaw region, extremist terrorists then burnt down their villages and internally displaced person camps and fled, according to local authorities.
“After the attack on the security forces, villagers in Chanekali Bengali village, Yathedaung Township burnt down their own homes around noon and fled into the Mayu Mountain range”, according to a military source.
Similarly, extremists in Zedipyin Bengali village, Yathedaung Township burnt down about 60 houses at about 12pm and fled toward Chin Village. Officials said yesterday evening that the extremist terrorists attacks on 30 security posts and police stations in Maungtaw, Buthidaung and Yathedaung Townships resulting in the death of 11 security personnel (one Tatmadaw and 10 police) and one immigration officer; injuries to 11 security personnel and the loss of six weapons stolen by the terrorists. One extremist was captured and 59 bodies of extremists recovered, officials said.