Myanmar’s mortars kill 2 in BD


Staff Reporter  :
Two people were killed within the Bangladesh border as heavy mortar shells, reportedly fired from Myanmar, landed and detonated at the Ghumdum border in Bandarban on Monday.

The deceased were identified as a Bangladeshi woman named Hosne Ara, 55, from the Jolpaithali village, and the other is a Rohingya man named Nabi Hossen, 65, from the Balukhali refugee camp (Block 8), said Bandarban Deputy Commissioner (DC) Shah Mujahid Uddin.

Apart from it, the 5-year old grandson of Hose Ara was also injured while a shell exploded, said the DC.

Simultaneously, at least 103 helpless Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) personnel so far sought refuge in Bangladesh by Monday morning, surrendering their weapons to the Bangladesh Border Guard, BGB headquarters Public Relations Officer Md Shariful Islam confirmed it.

These individuals, many injured, are now receiving treatment in hospitals in Cox’s Bazar district.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ordered the Bangladesh Armed Forces and BGB to be patience on the Myanmar border tension issue.

Law Minister Anisul Haque said this while responding to a supplementary question from Jatiya Party Secretary General Mojibul Haque Chunnu during the Jatiya Sangsad question and answer session on Monday.

The shooting and mortar shelling between the two forces of Myanmar created a frightening atmosphere across the border. As a result, people of three villages of Ghudhum Union Parishad have left their homes to safer places.

The BGB said it is on high alert so that no group including Rohingyas can infiltrate through the Myanmar border during the ongoing conflict between the rebel factions in Arakan state with Myanmar’s military junta.

“Additional BGB personnel have been deployed in the border areas to closely monitor the situation,” BGB Cox’s Bazar Region Commander Brigadier General Morshed Alam told reporters at a press briefing in Bandarban on Monday evening.

However, the Foreign Ministry said that the Myanmar government has contacted the Bangladesh side to take back their people.

Caught in the conflicts, approximately 400 individuals from the Chakma community in Myanmar are awaiting entry into Bangladesh, Commissioner of the Refugee, Relief, and Repatriation Commission (RRRC) in Cox’s Bazar Md. Mizanur Rahman said on Monday.

Additionally, some Rohingya individuals are also gathering on the border amid the intense firing of Arakan Army and insurgents, he further said.

Md. Mizanur Rahman stated that the conflict has also caused a food crisis among those residing near the Myanmar border.

“Consequently, these individuals are facing life-threatening risks, prompting them to seek refuge in Bangladesh.

In light of this situation, BGB has been rigorously monitoring the situation to prevent the unauthorised entry of any Rohingya or individuals from other communities from crossing the border,” he said.

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud stated that the government has communicated with Myanmar to facilitate the return of BGP members who entered Bangladesh.

Till Monday morning, 95 BGP members took refuge in Bangladesh after fleeing Myanmar, he said.

The minister shared this information during a press briefing with journalists at his office on Monday.

“We have continuous communication with Myanmar. This morning, Myanmar’s Deputy Foreign Minister contacted our Ambassador. They will take back their citizens.

They will bring back their Border Guard members. Whether it will be by air or sea, we are discussing that,” he said.

About the intrusion of the Myanmar Army inside Bangladesh, the minister mentioned that before this, many BGP members had also entered India, and they were sent back via aircraft.


“Myanmar has communicated with us. We have also communicated with them. More are still coming; there is a possibility of more arrivals. Some have been injured, and they have been admitted to Cox’s Bazar Hospital,” he said.

When asked about the border situation and the involvement of a third country or the United Nations, Hasan Mahmud said, “Our borders are well protected. Since they have come, we have provided shelter.

As discussions are ongoing between the two countries, there is no question of involving a third party here.”

Meanwhile, local authorities and residents in the bordering areas express heightened anxiety, living in constant fear due to the uncertainty of when bullets, mortar shells, or rocket launchers might strike them.

About the killing of the two people inside Bangladesh, administration and people said that the explosion, which occurred at approximately 2:20 pm, targeted an under-construction house in Jolpaichari village, situated in Bandarban’s Naikhongchhari upazila.

The Rohingya man succumbed to his injuries immediately, and Hosneara Begum lost her life while being rushed to the hospital, according to Ghumdum Union Parishad Chairman AKM Jahangir Aziz.

Shah Alam, the cousin of Hosneara Begum, recounted the tragic incident, saying, “My sister was in the kitchen serving food to the elderly Rohingya worker when a loud noise startled us.”

“Rushing to the scene, we found the elderly man with a severed hand, and he tragically passed away right there. My sister breathed her last while we were trying to get her to the hospital,” he told the media.

Soon after the tragic incident, officials from the upazila administration and members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) visited the site.

Clashes between rebel factions in Arakan state and Myanmar’s military junta since Saturday have intensified, primarily over the control of a border camp.

The conflict, marked by uninterrupted gunfire, mortar shells, and rocket explosions, has raised concerns about substantial casualties, with reports of rebel groups confronting the government army in various parts of Myanmar.

Meanwhile, panic has gripped Bangladeshis near the Myanmar border as bullets and rockets from the conflict have hit people, vehicles, and buildings across the border.

Many have left their homes for safer shelters. Earlier, four Bangladeshis were injured as a house collapsed following a mortar shell explosion, and a CNG auto-rickshaw suffered damage.

Amid the escalating situation, seven educational institutions have been closed, and vehicle movement has been restricted.

The BGB has advised locals to stay indoors or move cautiously for safety, especially in the southern and northern parts of Tombru, situated in Ghumdhum Union of Naikhongchhari upazila in Bandarban.

At that time, at least four fragments of mortar shells and bullets fell in Tumbru, Konarpara, and western Ghumdum.

The Bangladesh-Myanmar border spans approximately 283 kilometers, with the major part falling within the districts of Bandarban and Cox’s Bazar.

Over the past few weeks, armed groups, including the Arakan Army, have escalated tensions along the border areas of Bangladesh and India.

They have collectively initiated a campaign against the Myanmar military, with some instances of occupying certain border towns.

The ongoing conflict, which has been unfolding for several weeks, has prompted authorities in Cox’s Bazar and Bandarban districts to advise caution in the border regions.

Both district administrations and law enforcement agencies in Bangladesh are on high alert.

According to local sources, gunfire and explosions from mortars and shells were reportedly heard across the Ghumdum border between January 29 and 31 and people in the bordering areas are evacuating their houses in panic and fear.