11 policemen, 21 Muslim insurgents killed in Myanmar
At least 11 Myanmar security personnel and 21 Rohingya Muslim insurgents were killed overnight in Rakhine state, the army's commander in chief said on Friday, after militants staged coordinated attacks on 24 police posts and tried to break into an army base.
"One soldier and 10 police sacrificed their lives for the country," Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing said in a statement posted on Facebook.
The attacks mark a dramatic escalation in a conflict that has simmered in Rakhine since last October, when similar attacks that killed nine police officers prompted a massive military counter-offensive beset by allegations of killings, rape and arson.
The military operation then resulted in some 87,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh and the United Nations accused Myanmar's security forces of likely committing crimes against humanity.
Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi. /AFP Photo

Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi. /AFP Photo

The situation in the state deteriorated again early this month when security forces began a new "clearance operation" with tension shifting to the township of Rathetaung, where Buddhist Rakhine and Rohingya communities live side-by-side.
"The initial information is that at least five policemen were killed, two guns have been taken (from the police) and seven dead bodies of extremist Bengali insurgents have been seized," said an information committee affiliated with the office of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi.
The statement used the derogatory term "Bengali" to describe the Rohingya which implies they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
"The extremist Bengali insurgents attacked a police station in Maungdaw region in northern Rakhine state with a handmade bomb explosive and held coordinated attacks on several police posts at 1 a.m.," said the statement.
It listed the names of 24 police posts that had come under attack, adding that the police and the military were continuing their fight against the insurgents at the time of the release.
The statement also said some 150 Rohingya men attempted to break into a military base, prompting the military to fight back.
Source(s): Reuters