World, Asia - Pacific

3 suspected Myanmar's rebel militiamen held in Bangladesh

Police say they are investigating motives behind illegal border crossing and their true identities

Md. Kamruzzaman   | 06.05.2021
3 suspected Myanmar's rebel militiamen held in Bangladesh file photo

DHAKA, Bangladesh 

Bangladeshi law enforcers have detained three suspected Myanmar rebel army members from the eastern border district on charges of illegal entry, police sources said on Thursday.

The three illegally entered the country a few days ago and were detained at a police checkpoint in Bandarban district on Wednesday, said a senior police officer who requested anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media. They are believed to be members of the Arakan Army, a Rakhine armed group based in Myanmar's Kachin State, he added.

“We have already produced them before the court after filing a case against them for illegally entering Bangladeshi territory,” Shahidul Islam Chowdhury, chief of Bandarban Sadar police station, told Anadolu Agency.

“We can’t ascertain whether they are members of any rebel group of Myanmar as we are still investigating the matter,” he said.

He, however, added that police are investigating their motives behind the illegal border crossing and their true identities.

The detainees are from the western Rakhine State, according to local daily Dhaka Tribune, and were members of the Arakan Army. Citing police and local sources the daily added that the detainees admitted their affiliation with the rebel group during the preliminary investigation.

They received three months of training at a rebel militia's camp before fleeing to Bangladesh in the aftermath of recent conflicts in Myanmar, according to the daily.

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