Deserter Killed in Battle

Narinjara News

An army deserter was killed by the Burmese army during an armed clash between a column of soldiers and the deserter deep in the forest of the western border near Bangladesh on 21 November, 2006, said a source close to the army.

The deserter, who was from Light Infantry Battalion 344 based in Akyab, the capital of Arakan State, fled the army along with arms and ammunitions from a frontline outpost near the Burma-Bangladesh border on the night of 20 November.

The armed clash between the deserter and the Burmese army took place in the early morning hours of 21 November, three hours after the deserter had left the outpost for the Bangladesh side.

According to a local village source, the armed clash lasted around five minutes with several guns being fired in the small battle.

The deserter had taken a BA 63 automatic rifle and a number of bullets from the outpost; he was thought to be joining with the Arakanese rebel groups on the western Burma border.

Similarly, on 14 November, two Burmese soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion 234 deserted along with arms and ammunitions. However, the army has yet to be able to seize the two deserters.

A source close to the army said the rate of desertions has been increasing by the day, with some soldiers taking weapons and ammunition with them when they desert.