February 8, 2024
DHAKA – Bangladeshi, Rohingya die as mortar shell explodes in Ghumdhum; 106 BGP men now in Bangladesh
A Bangladeshi woman and a Rohingya man were killed as a mortar shell fired from Myanmar exploded in Bandarban’s Ghumdhum union yesterday.
Heavy fighting continues in Myanmar between the junta forces and rebel group Arakan Army since early Sunday. A total of 106 members of Myanmar border police close to Tumbru border area took refuge in Bandarban until yesterday.
Amid such a security situation, additional BGB troops have been deployed on the border and they are on high alert, Cox’s Bazar BGB Regional Commander Brig Gen Morshed Alam said at the Ghumdhum border.
Boarder Guard Bangladesh (BGB) disarmed the Myanmar troops, said a BGB press release last night.
BGB on Sunday said 15 Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) personnel had gunshot injuries.
Fighting continued across the Ghumdhum border yesterday as Myanmar junta forces fired mortar shells and bombed Arakan Army positions. Rebels also retaliated, said sources at the border.
Several thousand Bangladeshis in the border areas feel insecure as bullets and mortar shells fired from Myanmar landed in Bangladesh over the last two days, leaving at least four Bangladeshis injured.
Yesterday, clashes spread to Dekibunia area of bordering Myanmar, two kilometres off Tumbru border.
Independent news outlet The Irrawaddy reported that the Myanmar junta lost more bases and 62 troops were killed in the last three days as rebel groups People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) and ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) stepped up attacks on regime targets across the country.
Incidents were reported in Sagaing, Magwe and Mandalay regions and Kachin and Karen states. The Irrawaddy collected reports of significant attacks by PDFs and EAOs.
Meanwhile, Law Minister Anisul Huq yesterday said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has instructed the armed forces and the paramilitary border force to be patient amid the war-like situation in Myanmar.
The minister was replying to MPs questions on the home ministry in parliament in absence the home minister during the question-answer session.
“Bangladesh is observing the situation closely and steps will be taken accordingly,” he said.
Anisul said steps have been taken to close schools in the border areas.
Speaking to reporters at his ministry, Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud yesterday said Naypyidaw told Dhaka that it will take back its soldiers.
He said Myanmar Ambassador to Bangladesh U Aung Kyaw Moe and Deputy Foreign Minister U Lwin Oo told the foreign ministry that they want to take back the BGP members.
“The two sides are now discussing how they would be repatriated,” he added.
The foreign ministry, meanwhile, sent a “note verbale” to the Myanmar envoy in Dhaka, protesting bullets and mortar shells from Myanmar landing in Bangladesh.
“Why should our people be affected by the firing and conflicts inside Myanmar? Myanmar should immediately stop such incidents,” a foreign ministry official said.
Hosneara Khatun, 45, a homemaker, and an unidentified Rohingya worker, died when a mortar shell from Myanmar landed at the former’s house in Jolpaitoli village near Ghumdhum border around 2:30pm, Mahfuz Imtiaz Bhuiyan, inspector of Ghumdhum Police Outpost Investigation Centre, told The Daily Star.
Hosneara’s grandson, aged about 5, suffered injuries, the inspector said.
He said the Rohingya man was hired as a construction worker.
Hosneara’s body was sent to Cox’s Bazar Medical College morgue for an autopsy.
PEOPLE WAITING AT BORDER
Some 400 Chakma people were waiting at the border near Ghumdhum to enter Bangladesh, said Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) Mohammed Mizanur Rahman.
“But our border guards will not allow them in,” he told this newspaper yesterday.
Locals claimed that a five-member Rohingya family, including three children, entered Bangladesh from Myanmar yesterday through Ulubonia border in Cox’s Bazar’s Teknaf upazila.
Seeking anonymity, a local union parishad leader said BGB detained the Rohingyas soon after they entered Bangladesh.
Mizanur, however, claimed that BGB foiled the family’s attempt to enter Bangladesh.
He also called upon the international community to provide food assistance to the ordinary people in Myanmar who are going through a tough time due to the battles.
This newspaper could not reach Lt Col Abdullah Al Masruque, commander of BGB 34 Battalion in Cox’s Bazar, over the phone for comments.
PANIC IN GHUMDHUM
Panic has gripped Ghumdhum. Fearing for their lives, many left their homes on Sunday.
Nargis Akhter, 35, a resident of Konapara village in Ghumdhum, left the area on Sunday. She returned to her house yesterday but she again left to safety amid intense sounds of firing and explosions.
“We left leaving all our belongings. We are worried if those will get stolen,” she told journalists.
On Sunday, Arakan Army rebels launched a fierce attack on the Myanmar border post and border guard camp known as the Right Camp, a base of the junta forces opposite the Tambru BGB camp in Bangladesh, local sources claimed.
They said the rebels captured the border post and the Right Camp at night.
The rebels launched a fierce attack around 4:00am yesterday. Around 11:30am, a helicopter of Myanmar targeted rebel positions and bombed and fired at the Right Camp.
FOUR BGP MEN IN CMCH
Four Myanmar BGP personnel, who have taken refuge in Bangladesh, were admitted to Chattogram Medical College Hospital (CMCH) last night with bullet injuries.
Sub-Inspector Nur Alam Ashek, in-charge of the CMCH Police Outpost, said the four were rushed to the hospital around 10:30pm.