About 1,500 Burma Army troops arrived by ship in southern Maungdaw on January 7 and were then transported by truck to northern Maungdaw, according to local villagers.The troops were seen disembarking in the morning from two naval ships at the fishing village of Alethankyaw on the southern Maungdaw coast, where they entered the Alethankyaw Border Guard Police (BGP) camp.
Locals said the troops coming to shore were wearing civilian clothes, but were carrying military equipment and were obviously soldiers.
Soon afterwards, 30 tarpaulin-covered army trucks were seen leaving the BGP camp and heading north.
At midday, the convoy of trucks was seen stopping at Ngakhura, about 20 kilometers north of Maungdaw town, when one of the trucks burst a tyre. Villagers saw about 50 uniformed troops getting out of the covered truck while it was being repaired.
After the tyre was repaired, the trucks continued northwards.
This is the first large-scale troop deployment in this area since September last year, when Kaladan Press reported that about 2,000 Burma Army troops were transported to northern Maundaw after arriving by ship in southern Maungdaw. These troops were seen destroying evidence of mass killings from 2017.
On January 9, villagers from surrounding villages of Sindaung, Buthidaung, reported seeing large numbers of Burma Army troops patrolling through their area, for the first time in two months since the lull in fighting with the Arakan Army. They fear this means conflict will break out again soon.


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