Sources have reported the discovery of underground tunnels in the no-man’s land between Bangladesh and Myanmar, which were allegedly used by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a separatist armed group of Myanmar.
Rohingya refugees living in the area and local officials have confirmed the existence of the tunnels, but the head of Naikhongchari sub-district administration in Bangladesh stated that border law does not allow for checking the no-man’s land. “ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army) used those tunnels and even detained people after kidnapping them,” a Rohingya in the no man’s land at Tambru border in Bangladesh’s southeastern sub-district of Naikhongchari, Bandarban, told Anadolu, preferring not to disclose his name.
Two anonymous ARSA members were reportedly interviewed by a local TV channel in Bangladesh and claimed the tunnels were used for various purposes, including by the group’s leaders.
“There were a total of seven such underground tunnels. Of which, one was used by ARSA chief Ataullah and another one was used by second-in-command Ustad Khaled. The other tunnels were used for making weapons and other purposes. Those tunnels were made in such a way that they can easily go into Myanmar through it,” the report quoted the ARSA members as claiming.
The existence of the tunnels came to light after a fire in the Rohingya settlement on January 18, which burned down all the makeshift tents during an alleged day-long fight between two armed groups inside Myanmar.
Source: Anadolu Agency