Number of Myanmar border guards who fled to Bangladesh stands at 95: BGB

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UNB, Dhaka :

Twenty-seven more members of Myanmar’s Border Guard Police (BGP) have fled to Bangladesh amid clashes between the Myanmar military and the armed rebel group Arakan Army.

With this, the number of BGP members who took shelter in Bangladesh stood at 95.

Shariful Islam, public relations officer of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), said 95 BGP members have so far entered Bangladesh through Tumbru border in Naikhangchhari upazila of Bandarban district with arms and ammunition due to the ongoing clashes inside Myanmar.

The BGB members disarmed them and took them to a safe shelter, he said.

Earlier on Monday, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said 14 Myannar Border Guard members were detained after they entered Bangladesh territory to take shelter and they will be sent back following diplomatic process.

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Shariful Islam said members of Myanmar’s Border Guard Force (BGP) started taking shelter in Bangladesh from Sunday morning. The number of BGP members who fled till Sunday evening was 39, the number stood at 58 by 8 pm and another 27 arrived this morning, he added.

Besides, arrangements were made for the treatment of 15 injured BGP members on Sunday, he said.

The Arakan Army is the well-trained and well-armed military wing of the Rakhine ethnic minority movement, which seeks autonomy from Myanmar’s central government.

It is a member of the armed ethnic group alliance that recently gained strategic territory in Myanmar’s northeast. Along with the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army — operating together under the name of the Three Brotherhood Alliance — it launched a coordinated offensive on October 27, 2023 in northern Shan state along the border with China.

That offensive has posed the greatest battlefield challenge to Myanmar’s military rulers since the army seized power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February 2021. The alliance says it has seized more than 250 military outposts, five official border crossings and a major city near the Chinese border, along with several important towns, according to an AP report.

Rakhine is where a brutal army counterinsurgency operation in 2017 drove about 740,000 members of the Muslim Rohingya minority to seek safety across the border in Bangladesh. Rakhine is also known by its older name of Arakan.

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