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Bangladesh Army asks Myanmar Army to be cautious during operations along border

Bangladesh Army has asked the Myanmar Army to maintain more caution in conducting its operations along the common border areas.

A three member delegation of Myanmar Army led by Lt Gen Phone Myat, Command Bureau of Special Operation visited Bangladesh Army Chief General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed at the Army Headquarters on October 26, according to a press release of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) issued on Thursday night, UNB reports.

The delegation highlighted the ongoing security situation in Myanmar during the visit apart from exchanging courtesies. It said they are trying to keep their country’s peace and discipline under control while maintaining mutual friendship with Bangladesh.

The army chiefs discussed the development of military relations between the two countries, joint discussions of high-ranking army officers on various issues, exchange of training, joint disaster management, exchange of relevant information and urged to work together to ensure regional security.

The Bangladesh army chief said displaced Myanmar citizens are a regional problem and stressed on the rapid return of the Rohingyas to Myanmar in order to remove the security risks caused by accommodating this population in Bangladesh.

The Myanmar representative expressed his interest in solving bilateral issues through friendship and greater communication with Bangladesh.

Later the delegation paid a courtesy call on Chief of General Staff (CGS) of Bangladesh Army Ataul Hakim Sarwar Hasan.

He reminded them to remain cautious in conducting operations at border area and said militants do not work for any country.

In the face of continuous gunfire and mortar shelling inside Myanmar close to the Bangladesh border for six hours after a week’s lull on October 22, local authorities evacuated 30 families in Dochari and Ghumdhum unions of Naikhongchhari upazila to safety.

The Arakan Army, an ethnic armed organisation based in Rakhine state, had stopped taking up positions near the border for a long time, instead operating deep inside Myanmar. But over the past week, the Arakan Army has positioned itself closer to the border.

As the fighting in Rakhine has escalated, so has the scale and frequency of these incidents along the border. Since September 16, two Bangladeshi youths have lost limbs stepping on landmines laid by the Tatmadaw dangerously close to the international border.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Myanmar Ambassador to Bangladesh Aung Kyaw Moe several times since August and he “acknowledged” the firing of multiple mortar shells into Bangladesh territory.

The envoy, however, tried to deflect blame by asserting that the insurgents were engaged in fighting, firing heavy artillery and mortars, some of which landed inside Bangladesh territory.