Tatmadaw releases statement on Rakhine terrorist attacks

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October 24, 2017

The Tatmadaw released a statement yesterday regarding the terrorist attacks of 25 August by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on police outposts in which dozens were killed and which prompted hundreds of thousands to flee northern Rakhine, saying the attacks were meant to intentionally harm national security and turn global sentiment against the country.

“As regards the terrorist attacks by extremist terrorists who had already been in Rakhine State which took place on 25th August, 2017 in Buthidaung and Maungtaw region, Rakhine State, there had been news releases based on false news and allegations over Myanmar made by some international communities and countries and some foreign media very recently”, read the statement released by the Tatmadaw True News Information Team.

 The statement went on to say that the attacks were wellplanned by thousands, not hundreds, of terrorists. “In actuality, some 4,000 ARSA extremist terrorists conspired to violently attack 30 police outposts and a military camp simultaneously, and behind the events there had been very complicated background history, hence the need to be well convinced beforehand.

“On 8th June 2012, a Rakhine national girl named Ma Thida Htwe was raped and killed by four Bengalis in Yanbye township, Rakhine State. It caused conflict and on 9th October 2016, Bengali terrorists made violent surprise attacks on border guard forces and three police outposts simultaneously. On 25 August, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services went abroad, the Deputy C-in-C of the Defence Service called on the President of the State and the State Counsellor to get instructions regarding the Rakhine State affair. On 4 September, the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services met with the State President to receive instructions on Rakhine State affair.”

The Tatmadaw statement said security forces were repeatedly reminded to stay within legal bounds when engaging with the terrorists and dealing with civilians.

“In the events of the ARSA extremist terrorists’ attacks, security forces who were performing the tasks of defending the national populace living in the region, maintaining the peace and stability of the region and rule of law were instructed, depending upon situations on the ground, to be very mindful of the rules of engagement concerning armed conflicts and terrorist attacks. They were also instructed to abide by the criminal code in dispersing mobs, and to use self-defense tactics in fighting against terrorists over innocent civilians and security forces. The security forces kept to the rules and regulations.

 “At the time of outbreak of the terrorist attacks, local residents and national people who were very frightened were helped in evacuating to safer places, regardless of race and religion. And those displaced people were supported with provisions and they were given medical treatments by mobile health teams. Provisions and humanitarian aid donated by people and communities across the nation were delivered by Tatmadaw helicopters, vessels and motor vehicles.

 “Union Government, the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and the Rakhine State Government are performing the task of delivering humanitarian aid to the people in need, hand in hand with the Tatmadaw”.

 The Tatmadaw statement said it is important to view the attacks as an intentional disruption of national security and undeserved accusations of rights violations.

“Concerning the events of ARSA extremist terrorist attacks which took place in northern Rakhine State, it is necessary to take special surveillance over potential destructive performances which can intentionally harm national security and interest, on the wrong pretext of human rights and humanitarianism”, the statement said.