The Si Taung villagers from Buthidaung Township fleeing after shootings from the govt troops on 26 March 2019.

Win Nyunt | DMG
19 February, Buthidaung
With fighting flaring between Set Khaw and Manaung villages in Buthidaung Township, Arakan State, on Wednesday evening, inhabitants of the two settlements have fled for the relative safety of nearby villages, according to local residents.

Artillery shells landed in Manaung village and at least two houses there were destroyed after catching fire, but there was no report of injuries.

There are more than 800 people from 160 households in Set Khaw village, while Manaung village is home to about 40 people. The displaced are now taking refuge in Zedi Pyin and Thein Taung villages.

“The fighting occurred northeast of our village,” said U Chit Phyu Tun, the Set Khaw village administrator.

According to the Arakan Army, a contingent of its troops exchanged fire with Tatmadaw forces from two military watercrafts on February 18 at a location about 1.1 kilometres northeast of Manaung village. The Tatmadaw attacked with two helicopters during the clashes, the ethnic armed group said.

The number of IDPs in Arakan State has surpassed 100,000 due to clashes between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army, with those displaced by the fighting often struggling to meet basic needs such as food, shelter and healthcare.

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