Narinjara News

Taknef, February 4


70 people gunned down by Burmese Navy


At least 70 people were reportedly gunned down in

Burmas waters by the Burmese Navy on January 22nd,

while they were attempting to enter into Bangladesh,

from Burma, across the Naff River, by boats containing

smuggled rice.


The incident took place near the village of Kyauk

Pandu, which is located on the eastern bank of the

Naff River, in Maung Daw Township, opposite Taknef,



According to sources, about 50 boats from several

villages in Burma's Arakan State, were preparing to

cross the Naff River near Kyauk Pandu village, when a

navy gun ship appeared and immediately opened fire on

the fleet.


"Several people fell dead into the water and a number

of the smugglers were arrested," said a witness from a

nearby village, adding that the number of dead,

wounded, and arrested was unclear and that people were

fearful to investigate the matter further.


Some people from Arakan State believe that at least 70

people were dead in the incident, many of whom were

from the townships of Kyauk Pru, Rambree, Pona Kyunt,

Akyab, Kyauk Taw, Pauk Taw, and Mrauk Oo.


A local Arakanese trader from Akyab said yesterday, in

Cox'sbazar, that news of the incident was spreading

among the Arakanese community in Akyab and Panna Kyunt

and that family members of those recently involved in

rice smuggling into Bangladesh were fearful for their



The respective relatives do not to dare to look for

their family members who may be involved in the

incident for fear of action against them by the



Akyab resident sources said a number of people who

were arrested at the scene are now being interrogated

by the authorities.


"As far as I know, the authorities are now trying to

ascertain the identities of the masterminds and their

gang involved in the smuggling of rice to Bangladesh,"

said a rice businessman from Akyab.


All of the arrestees are currently being held in Akyab

and they have not had the chance to contact their

families, said a relative of one arrestee.


The smuggling of rice from Burma into Bangladesh has

recently increased as Arakanese farmers look to get

more profits from their paddy after reduced local

prices failed to match the demand. Most of the rice is

smuggled across the border by boat, after a bribe is

paid to the local authorities.#



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