Arakan Army rebels capture Myanmar junta border outpost

Lake Ya Base is the second junta base captured by the Arakan Army since fighting resumed in July.

The rebel Arakan Army fighting Myanmar’s military junta on Monday captured an outpost on the country's border with Bangladesh, killing 30 soldiers and capturing three more, sources told Radio Free Asia.

The capture of Lake Ya Border Patrol Base in Maungdaw township in northwestern Rakhine state is the second such outpost the rebel group has overrun since fighting between the two sides resumed in July.

The skirmish is the latest in the on-again, off-again conflict that has been going on for more than a decade, driven by the ethnic Rakhine rebel group’s desire for autonomy.

“We’d been hearing repeated attacks since 2 a.m. – medium and heavy artillery – until dawn. The Arakan Army was attacking Lake Ya base, which isn’t very large,” a local source told RFA’s Burmese Service, asking for anonymity for fear of persecution, adding that the rebel group had captured the outpost‘s commander and some police.

Arakan Army spokesperson Khine Thukha confirmed the base’s capture with local media, saying 30 junta soldiers were killed, including the deputy commander. A press statement from the group released Monday evening said three soldiers had been taken prisoner, and added that the base was for soldiers who manned artillery.

The junta has yet to issue a statement on the attack.

Fighting between the two sides resumed after a two-year lull on July 18 in Maungdaw township, and has since spread to Buthidaung, Rathedaung, Minbyar, Mrauk-U and Taungoke townships in Rakhine State and Paletwa township in Chin State.

The rebel group said in a news release on Oct. 7 that they confronted the military junta in Buthidaung and Minbyar townships during the first week of October in more than 20 battles, killing more than 40 junta soldiers. RFA is still trying to confirm the list of the military junta’s casualties as released by the Arakan Army.

Sources told RFA that the military is currently attacking areas in the region with artillery.

Also on Monday, Sira Zaw Dein, a 37-year-old Rohingya civilian, died when an artillery strike from the junta’s Maungdaw region Base No. 4 hit his village, according to the Arakan Express News, a local online news agency in Maungdaw.

Translated by Myo Min Aung. Written in English by Eugene Whong.