DHAKA, Bangladesh vowed it was prepared to use an iron hand as Dhaka accused Myanmar on Thursday of installing heavy weapons, including mortars and machine guns, and deploying additional soldiers near a no-man’s land where more than 5,000 Rohingya refugees have been stranded for months.
Dhaka had summoned Myanmar’s ambassador to deliver a diplomatic protest note over the troop build-up along Bangladesh’s southeastern border, the Bangladeshi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The BGB is ready to deal with the troubles, if any, on the Myanmar border with an iron hand, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said as tension rose in the small strip of land dividing the two countries.
There is no scope to create troubles inside Bangladesh territory, Khan said during a meeting with members of the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) in Chittagong.
Brig. Gen. Mujibur Rahman, BGB’s additional director general for operations, said Dhaka filed a protest after Myanmar suddenly increased its security presence by mobilizing military trucks and positioning machine guns and mortars at bunkers near the Tombru border crossing in Bangladesh’s Bandardan district.
Against the backdrop of troop mobilization, we have lodged a protest and called for a flag meeting, Rahman told reporters. Monitoring the situation on the border. We have increased our troops.
Rahman did not provide an estimate on the unilateral troop increase by Myanmar, but acknowledged that additional BGB forces had also been deployed in response to the troop movements from the other side.
Rohingya refugees living along the border claimed Thursday to have seen Myanmar security forces positioning heavy weaponry within 150 yards (450 feet) from the no-man’s land and pointing those weapons toward Bangladesh.
BenarNews could not immediately confirm reports from other refugees that Myanmar troops had fired shots into the air.
The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) estimates that about 1,300 families, or approximately 5,300 people, live near a canal in the so-called no man’s land. Bangladeshi officials estimated that 6,500 were sheltering there.
Source: NAM News Network