Myanmar’s Arakan Army Denies Link to Muslim Militant Group in Rakhine State

Arakan Army on Tuesday denied that it is allied with a Rohingya Muslim militant group and objected to a Myanmar government spokesman’s warning to its supporters not to back the insurgent organization after it conducted deadly attacks on police outposts in northern Rakhine state last week.Coordinated assaults by the AA on four police outposts in Buthidaung township on Jan. 4 left 13 policemen dead and injured nine others. The rebel army said it lost three of its soldiers in the violence.At a news conference on Monday, President’s Office spokesman Zaw Htay accused the AA of having ties to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a Muslim militant group that in August 2017 launched deadly assaults on 30 police outposts and an army base in northern Rakhine state, triggering a brutal military crackdown during which thousands were killed and more than 725,000 Rohingya fled across the border to Bangladesh.In a statement on its website and Facebook page, the AA said Zaw Htay’s statements were inappropriate, viewing them as an attempt by the government and the military to stir up misunderstanding between the Arakan military group’s allies and ethnic Rakhine ........................


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