Burma’s Border Security Force (Nasaka) and Bangladeshi Border Guards are searching for three Burma Army soldiers who disappeared after an attack by an unknown armed group in northern Arakan (Rakhine) State last week.
The missing men were attached to the Burmese military’s General Engineering Unit and abducted by unidentified rebel troops last Monday evening while on their way to deliver rations to colleagues constructing a fence at the Bangladeshi border 170 km (105 miles) north of Maungdaw Township, according to local sources.
“A civilian called Kyaw Kyaw Hla was also shot dead,” said a resident of Aungthabyay Village who works for the military engineers at nearby Bandullah Village and arrived at the scene on the morning of Nov. 6. The General Engineering Unit has been working on more than 300 km (185 miles) of fencing along Burma’s western frontier for four years.
According to a Nasaka source, those abducted consist of Sgt Naing Htoo Aung and two of his privates. “Soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion 535, which is based in Buthidaung Township, have arrived as reinforcements in the area to look for the disappeared,” he added.
On Nov. 11, Maj Sein Thar Kyaw, from the Nasaka, and Bangladeshi Border Guard Battalion 15 commanding officer Col Maha Bubu Rauhamuk held meeting in a school building in Laymusari Village of Nakhyaungcharipara Township, Bandarban District, Chittagong Division.
Nasaka sources said that they threatened to enter Bangladeshi territory unless the missing soldiers were quickly located, but did not reveal anything about the murdered civilian when questioned by The Irrawaddy.
Locals have speculated that the Rohingya Solidarity Organization, based at the Burma-Bangladesh border, could be responsible for the abductions, but this has not been independently verified.
Bangladeshi Border Guards have asked village leaders to help find the three Burmese soldiers, according to the chairman of Panchaung Village. Unconfirmed reports from the area suggest that Nasaka troops clashed with an unidentified armed group on Sunday night.
The Irrawaddy reporter Nyein Chan contributed to this report.