Rangoon (Burma), Oct. 28 (EFE) .- The Burmese Army rescued 14 people kidnapped by the separatist guerrillas of the Arakan Army (AA), according to an official statement published Monday, in an operation in which the insurgents accuse to the armed forces to shoot dozens of fighters and civilians.
This confrontation occurs in the context of a conflict that has escalated since in January this year the AA increased its offensive against Burmese security forces in the western state of Arakan.
The operation took place last Saturday, shortly after AA guerrillas took a total of 57 people hostage, including 14 soldiers and 29 policemen, when they were traveling in a boat on a river in the state of Arakan (Rakáin), according to The official statement.RELATED
In another statement released by the AA on Sunday on its Twitter account, the guerrillas claim that soldiers and policemen were traveling in a boat dressed in civilian clothes and mixed among the passengers, when the guerrillas inspected the ship.
The AA states that members of the security forces were transferred to three of their boats, when three Army military helicopters arrived on the scene and opened fire on the boats, destroying two of the ships and all the people on board.
"Many were killed as there was no way to protect themselves from the shooting," denounced the AA statement, which said it could not offer a number of casualties due to the shooting and bombing, while the Burmese Army indicated that its helicopters "made warning shots' and did not signal any type of casualty.
There are no independent sources on the number of casualties, but the confrontation between the Army and the guerrillas was one of the most violent so far this year.
The AA was founded in 2009 by a group of nationalist students of the Rakáin Buddhist ethnic group, mostly in Arakan, and today it is estimated that it has about 7,000 guerrillas and shows more and more boldness in its attacks against the Burmese Army and police .
In these clashes, which intensified since January, dozens of fighters from both sides have died, as well as civilians, and tens of thousands of inhabitants of the state have been displaced from their homes.
Arakan is also the region of Rohingya Muslims, which authorities deny citizenship and qualify as 'Bengali immigrants'.
More than 730,000 Rohingya fled Arakan to Bangladesh following a military campaign in August 2017 of the Army, which has been accused of genocide by UN investigators. EFE