Powerful Ethnic Armed Group in Western Myanmar Claims to Capture Base and Hundreds of Soldiers


A powerful ethnic minority armed group battling Myanmar’s army in the country’s west claimed on May 6 to have taken hundreds of government soldiers prisoner when it captured a major command post.

The Arakan Army, the well-trained and well-armed military wing of the Rakhine ethnic minority movement, has been on the offensive against army outposts in the western state of Rakhine—its home ground—for about six months.

The group said in a video statement posted on the Telegram messaging app that soldiers belonging to the military government’s Operational Command No. 15 headquarters in Rakhine’s Buthidaung township surrendered after a siege.

The fight in Rakhine is part of the nationwide conflict in Myanmar that began after the army ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February 2021 and suppressed widespread nonviolent protests that sought a return to democratic rule.

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