(Photo - Soe Han / Facebook)

Cha Lu Aung | DMG
16 December, Sittwe
 
More than 1000 villagers have fled from their homes since a military column has entered Thaung Dra village in Rathedaung Township on 14 December, according to local sources.
 
Thaung Dra village is located four miles from Rathedaung town. The village has nearly 300 houses with about 1300 people.
 
About five older people were left in the village, said Amyotha Hluttaw representative U Khin Maung Latt.
 
A villager U Maung Phyu Hla said that about 60 villagers were herding their cattle in the forest because they could not leave them.
 
“We are in trouble now. We cannot return home. And it is not easy to go to other villages without taking the cattle. Soldiers are staying in Htee Swe village. If we choose to go to Zayat Hla village, we need to cross the creek and that is not safe for our cattle,” he said.
 
Colonel Win Zaw Oo from the Western Command said that the Tatmadaw has been checking suspected villages during its clearance operation.
 
“When we check villages, administrators and elders of villagers are included. We did the process systematically. So, they do not need to flee from home. If they are worried about potential fighting and run away, we can not help them,” Colonel Win Zaw Oo said.

The number of displaced people in Arakan State has reached near 100,000 during ongoing clashes between the Tatmadaw and Arakan Army.

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