Thousands flee as mortar shells, gunfire rattle Ghumdum border

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News Desk

The sound of mortar shells and gunfire continues along the outskirts of Myanmar near the Ghumdum border area of Naikhongchhari upazila in Bandarban.

The border situation remains tense, prompting around 3,000 residents from two villages along the Tumburu border in Bandarban to seek refuge elsewhere.

The sounds of mortar shells and gunfire were intermittently heard until the filing of this report at 10am on Sunday.

During the time, bullets and mortar shell fragments landed on the property of two Bangladeshi houses on the Tumburu border.

Shafiqul Islam, a member of Ghumdum Union Parishad’s ward no 2 in Naikhongchhari confirmed the matter.

Meanwhile, a total of 14 Border Guard Police (BGP) personnel from Myanmar sought refuge in Bangladesh after being attacked by rebels on Saturday.

They have taken refuge in a Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) outpost in Tormu, Bandarban. BGB is set to hold a press conference in this regard later in the day, BGB sources have said.

Their weapons and ammunition have also been kept with the BGB.

According to local sources, Myanmar’s security forces have engaged in extensive gunfire, mortar shells, and explosive rocket launcher fire with the Arakan Army (AA) and Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO) along the border near the Naf River, causing extreme panic among the locals.

Prabir Dhar, 65, a Bangladeshi national, was shot in the hand during the incident.

Meanwhile, authorities have closed five schools for safety reasons.

Shahajan Mia, a resident of the Tumbru border area, said: “Massive mortar shelling is going on at the Myanmar border. As a result, people here are moving elsewhere. The people of this area are living in fear.”

In this regard, Teknaf Battalion (BGB-2) Captain Lt Colonel Md Mohiuddin Ahmed said: “We are on heightened alert near the border. No further intrusions will be allowed in any way.”

When asked, Deputy Commissioner of Bandarban Shah Mujahid Uddin said: “I have asked those living on the border to be alert.”

On January 27, heavy gunfire caused fear and anxiety among the locals in the border areas of Ghumdum, Tumbru in Bandarban and Shah Porir Dwip in Teknaf.

Earlier, the Arakan Army took control of a town in Rakhine. Following this, intense gunfire started in the surrounding villages, as reported by the media outlet Irrawaddy.

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