Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bomb alert in Arakan State

by Nyein Chan

Dakha (Mizzima) – Authorities in Arakan State in western Burma have alerted government offices of possible bomb attacks by foreign-based armed groups.

Authorities have alerted Border Security Forces in the Maungdaw and Budithaung District and Township Council offices, Immigration offices, Post & Telegraph offices and local banks of a possible bomb attack, ordering government employees to guard the targeted locations, local residents said.

“The order was given by the command of the Border Security Force. They said they have received information that government offices in Maungdaw and Budithaung will be targeted for bomb attacks,” a clerk at the Maungdaw Township Peace and Development Council office told Mizzima.

Reportedly, government employees have been ordered to group into fours and asked to guard the offices from six p.m. to six a.m., with Police and Immigration heads also requested to join the vigil in addition to police and soldiers patrolling roads in the towns.

Several ethnic armed rebellion groups, including the Chin National Front and Arakan Liberation Party in addition to Rohingya armed groups, are fighting for self-determination in the region and have been known to operate along the Burma-Bangladesh border.

But Major Khine Myo Min, General Secretary of the Arakan Liberation Party, said, “The ALP has never set off any explosions. Especially we have never bombed or targeted civilians. If we ever have plans to do it [carry out bombings], we will target military buildings, military barracks and places concerned with defense affairs. We will avoid any actions that could hurt people and would avoid civilian casualties as much as possible.”

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