Since September 10, over 3,000 Burma Army troops have disembarked from four navy ships off the Maungdaw coast at Inn Din, and been deployed to northern and southern Maungdaw, according to Rohingya boat drivers forced to transport the troops.About 2,000 troops were transported in 20 Rohingya fishing boats along the sea coast and up the Naf River to Maungdaw town and further north. The boat drivers, who were from Maung Ni village near Maungdaw, made two trips carrying up to 50 soldiers with backpacks and ammunition at a time.
Local residents who saw the combat-ready troops disembarking at Maungaw no. 1 Jetty and the Kanyin Chaung economic zone north of the town, said the soldiers did not stop in the area, but immediately began walking in a northwards direction.
The boat drivers said over 1,000 of the newly arrived troops remained in southern Maungdaw, including about 800 soldiers sent to the Border Guard Police camp in the coastal village of Alethankyaw, ten miles south of Maungdaw town.
The boat drivers were paid 40,000 kyat (about 30 US dollars) per day for transporting the troops, but said this did not cover the cost of diesel for their trips. “The diesel price is 4000 Kyat per gallon and 10 gallons are not covered for one day trip and we have no foods with this wage”, said the boat driver.
On September 12, the boat drivers saw a helicopter landing on one of the naval ships moored off the Inn Din coast.
In recent months, fighting has intensified between the Burma Army and Arakan Army in neighbouring Rathedaung township, across the Mayu mountains, but has seldom spilled over into Maungdaw.