Pakistan-trained rebels behind Myanmar border raids !

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LOOKEAST REPORT

Myanmar says a Pakistani Taliban-trained militant leader masterminded the deadly attacks in its Rakhine state recently.

A statement from the office of Myanmar’s president Htin Kyaw on Friday said a rebel group called Aqa Mul Mujahideen was behind the raids on three outposts on Myanmar-Bangladesh border, in which 9 policemen were killed.

It said that this little-known group is linked to the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO), which has run an armed campaign for a separate Islamic state of North Arakans since the 1980s.

burma-army-airlifts-teachers-and-locals-from-an-area-close-to-the-bangladesh-border-in-maungdaw-township-of-northern-arakan-state-on-thursday-__photo-office-of-the-defense-services-commander-in-chief

Burmese army airlifts teachers and locals from an area close to the Bangladesh border in Maungdaw township of northern Arakan State on Thursday. Photo Source: Myanmar Defense Services Commander-in-Chief

The RSO leaders have been based in Pakistan and enjoyed support of its military intelligence, ISI.

The Myanmar president office statement said that Aqa Mul Mujahideen leader Hafiz Tohar spend six months training with the Pakistan Taliban, and then received funding from Islamist organisations in the Middle East.

It said the 45-year old Tohar hails from Kyauk Pyin Seik village in Maungdaw township of Rakhine province.

Eight of the attackers were killed during the assault on the three border outposts.

Human rights groups say Myanmar army Tatmadaw have unleashed a fierce crackdown in the northern Rakhine state bordering Bangladesh after the attacks.

They say at least 26 Rohingya civilians have been killed by the troops in extra-judicial killings with troops even shooting down civilians on the streets.

The violence has brought back fears of a re-run of the 2012 riots in Rakhine province, which left more than 100 dead. Most of those killed were Muslim Rohingyas.

Myanmar president office statement said that Aqa Mul Mujahideen leader Hafiz Tohar spend six months training with the Pakistan Taliban, and then received funding from Islamist organisations in the Middle East

The Myanmar army crackdown has forced thousands of Rohingyas to flee their villages in and around Maungdaw.

Around 180 teachers, workers and residents were also airlifted out of the region on Thursday, while hundreds of government staff have poured into the state capital Sittwe.

Bangladesh security agencies are likely to worry over the presence of a group like Aqa Mul Mujahideen in its sensitive border region with Myanmar.

They are fighting to contain homegrown jihadis like JMB and ABT who might well have links with the Rohingya rebel groups.

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