Arakan Army advances into Thandwe: seizes control of airport

The Arakan Army (AA) seized Thandwe Airport in southern Arakan State, marking a significant advance amid ongoing conflict with military forces.

The Arakan Army (AA) made significant advances into Thandwe, seizing control of Thandwe Airport near Ngapali beach in southern Arakan State on Sunday. The assault led to residents fleeing the area as the AA attacked the militaryā€™s Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 566 and 55 on June 23.

Accodaring local Burmese media reports at the time of the capture of the airport, the military junta forces were deployed at in the premises. Local media confirmed that the AA arrested military officers, including battalion commanders, following the seizure of the airport. This marks the first airport to come under the control of resistance forces since the 2021 military coup.

The reports also added that the conflict has resulted in civilian casualties, with an airstrike on Shwe Nyaung Pyin village near Thandwe on Friday killing two civilians and injuring three others. The airstrike also destroyed two homes, according to local residents.

The ongoing conflict has displaced numerous civilians. A total of 959 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Thihoaye village are currently sheltering at a monastery in Maungdaw Township due to clashes between the AA and the militaryā€™s Border Guard Police (BGP) since June 4.

Meanwhile, thousands of civilians from Thandwe Township have fled to Gwa Township and other areas in the neighboring Ayeyarwady region due to the escalating conflict, according to media reports quoting Thandwe residents. These reports indicate that the fighting is moving towards the town center.

The AA continues to maintain its offensives in Maungdaw and Thandwe Townships. On June 15, the AA launched an assault on the southern township of Taungup. According to the Burma Coup Resistance online notes, in response, the junta destroyed a bridge leading to the town from Pyay Township in Bago Region to the east. Additionally, the AA intercepted a junta column of 100 troops near the Danyawaddy naval base in Kyauk Phyu Township on June 16, killing about ten soldiers.

On June 16, the Arakan Army issued a warning to civilians that it was preparing to launch a final attack to capture Maungdaw town, aiming to gain control of the entire township and all of northern.

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