One man was killed and two others were injured in an artillery attack Wednesday on a boat hired by the
International Red Cross .
The Red Cross was using the boat to deliver aid to civilians displaced by armed conflict in western Rakhine state, RFA reported.
The vessel was hit and set ablaze as it travelled on the Mayu River between Pyin Win and Kan Pyin
villages in Rathedaung township, one of several areas in Rakhine where Myanmar forces have been
fighting the Arakan Army (AA) for nearly two years.
The boat was transporting food supplies for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to
internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Rathedaung and neighboring Buthidaung township.
Easternlink’s U Ba Tin adds from Yangon : It was not whose fire hit the boat but usually the Burmese military Tatmadaw has been using heavy artillery to dislodge fighters of there Arakan Army from strategic locations like hills from where the rebels impede cargo and human movement on the Kaladan river.
Fighting for such a hill near Aungtharzi (between Kyauktan and Hteeswe villages) earlier this month led to severe casualties on both sides and the control of the hill changed hands several times. It was not clear who was now holding the hill.
Myanmar’s military spokesman, Major General Zaw Min Tun, said clashes happened because the AA blocked water and road transport to Sittwe, Rathedaung and Buthidaung townships.
“As they have blocked off water and road transport, the Tatmadaw is taking measures for the safety of vessels and vehicles,” Maj-Gen Zaw Min Tun told journalists.
He said the fighting took place because AA troops on the hill near Hteeswe were blocking the Ponnagyun-Rathedaung-Buthidaung road and the Sittwe-Buthidaung-Rathedaung waterway.
The AA attacked naval vessels six times in September, the military’s statement said, adding that its troops seized the hill on Sunday. It said both sides suffered casualties.
The Arakan Army in its Facebook page later claimed their fighters have regained control of the hill and it was possible that the Burmese military Tatmadaw were trying to regain control.