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Myanmar drones raise alarm amid firings, shelling - EN-vinnabarta

Myanmar drones raise alarm amid firings, shelling

Vinnabarta Desk
  • Update Time : Tuesday, September 20, 2022
  • 79 Time View

The intrusion of reconnaissance drones from Myanmar at night has created fresh tensions among the locals and put security agencies on alert in Bangladesh while Myanmar continued firing and shelling along the international border near Naikhyangchhari in the hill district of Bandarban.

As part of the Bangladesh government’s continued diplomatic efforts, acting foreign secretary Khurshed Alam on Monday briefed the diplomats from the Association of Southeast Asian nations at a state guest house in the capital over the ongoing Myanmar’s military actions along the international border, causing damage to life and properties and putting several thousand Bangladeshi border people at risk.

Dhaka on Sunday lodged a strong protest with Naypyidaw by summoning Myanmar ambassador to Bangladesh Aung Kyaw Moe for the fourth time since August over ‘the intrusion of mortar shells, aerial firings and airspace violations from Myanmar causing death and injuries to the people inside Bangladesh territory’.

Officials in Dhaka have, meanwhile, said that the intrusion of reconnaissance drones from Myanmar has created fresh tensions among the locals and put security agencies on alert.

An official said that they did not have logged the total number of intrusions by surveillance drones into Bangladesh, as radars cannot detect them, since Myanmar started their ‘provocative’ military actions near the Bangladesh-Myanmar international border by firing mortar shells and machine gun bullets as well as flying fighter jets and using artillery.

A no man’s land Rohingya camp leader, Dil Mohammad from Tambru, said that they saw drones flying from Myanmar at night a couple of times and they were worried about the incursions.

Border Guard Bangladesh spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Fayzur Rahman told New Age that one drone from Myanmar intruded into Bangladesh territory at night in the past week.

‘We have strongly objected to these activities with our counterpart in Myanmar,’ he said.

He said that border troops kept patrolling while the intelligence operatives were collecting information.

ASM Raihan, a surveillance gadget analyst, said that non-military-graded commercial drones were not detected by radar. ‘We are sure that Myanmar did not use tactical drones,’ he added.

Raihan suggested that Bangladesh security forces might use drone-catcher nets to protect its skies.

Attending an event on Monday evening, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan said that Bangladesh was yet to get a clear picture of the ground reality in Myanmar but he believed that the tensions along the border were a result of an internal crisis of Myanmar.

‘We are yet to know who Myanmar is fighting with or who it is firing at. We have heard that they [Myanmar] have hostility with the Arakan Army,’ said the minister, adding that some shots have crossed the border and landed in Bangladesh.

Asaduzzaman said that the Bangladesh government would not allow any more Rohingya people to infiltrate into the country from Myanmar.

Bangladesh, he went on to say, is going through many difficulties with the Rohingya people and will not allow in any more Rohingyas from Myanmar in this situation.

After sporadic firings and shelling along the border and the killing of a Rohingya youth on September 16, Bandarban district officials held a meeting with the local elected representatives and visited a number of local primary schools with the intention that if the situation deteriorated the locals would have to be moved to safety.

Bandarban deputy commissioner Yasmin Parvin Tibriji, donning a bulletproof vest and a helmet, together with the district’s police superintendent Tarikul Islam and other government official visited the Rohingya camp along Konarpara’s border in which a recent attack left one youth killed and six others injured.

While on their visit to the border area, Yasmin and Tarikul, among others, were briefed by BGB commanders on the current situation.

BGB personnel were seen patrolling the border areas, said locals.

The BGB and the local administration started identifying the vulnerable areas in order to keep safe the people along the border.

Tarikul Islam told New Age that they spoke to locals and visited the camp sheltering 4,000 Rohingyas on no man’s land, adding that they were trying to find shelters for border people in case the authorities needed to relocate them to safe places.

DC Yasmin said that the government was closely monitoring the developments along the border, adding that it has taken an initiative to relocate a few hundred families depending on their situation.

About the Rohingyas on the no man’s land, Yasmin said that the administration was currently thinking about Bangladeshis as the international community was dealing with the displaced Rohingyas in the camp on the zero point of the international border.

Gumdhum union parishad chair AKM Jahangir Aziz said that they were asked to elicit border people’s opinion about their possible relocation.

The Rohingyas on no man’s land on Monday held a human chain to protest against Myanmar army’s mortar shelling on the Refugee camp ‘intentionally’ on September 16 that resulted in the death of 17-year-old Mohammad Ikbal and injury of five others.

In the human chain, they carried a banner saying ‘Dear UN, please save us…Now we again under attack. Please provide us with necessary protection.’

Dil Mohammad said that the Myanmar Border Police tried to frighten them but they want the protection from the UN to be repatriated.

Meanwhile, Tambru bazar shopkeeper Mohamamd Atik said that they heard sounds of artillery fires between 5:00am and 9:00am on Monday but people were becoming used to it after frequently hearing such sounds.

In a protest rally in Dhaka, Bangladesh Chhatra Odhikar Parishad criticised the foreign policy of the Awami League government.

Chhatra Odhikar Parishad central union president Bin Yameen Mollah called upon the Myanmar junta government to repatriate the Rohingyas and stop violating the international border with Bangladesh.