Residents panic as heavy gunfire, explosions rock Teknaf border amid Myanmar conflict

Shah Porir Dwip and St Martin's Island were shaken by deafening explosions from across the Naf River amid the conflict in Myanmar

Published : 16 Feb 2024, 11:18 AM
Updated : 16 Feb 2024, 11:18 AM

Although a relative calm has descended on the restive border areas in Bandarban's Naikhongchhari and Cox's Bazar's Ukhiya, heavy gunfire and shelling from Myanmar echoed across two islands off the Teknaf coast.

On Friday, Shah Porir Dwip and St Martin's Island were rocked by deafening sounds of shelling from across the Naf River.

“We heard two heavy explosions from the Myanmar border across Shah Porir Dwip,” said Abdus Salam, a local union council member.

After enduring a sleepless night due to the fighting across the border, residents said sporadic gunfire resumed after a brief pause around 11 am.

Meanwhile, reports of the Arakan Army capturing the Myanmar Border Guard Police outposts in the Rakhine state have surfaced on various news portals as the conflict between the rebels and junta forces intensified.

The conflict caused fishermen to stop their activities in the Naf River, according to Khorshed Alam, a representative from St Martin's Island.

“Mortar shells were fired on Thursday morning around 11 am. We heard no sound of fighting until 11 am on Friday.”

The unrest at the border also led to a suspension of tourist ship movement along the Teknaf-St Martin sea route.

A local resident described hearing sporadic gunfire throughout the night but the island was jolted by two loud explosions in the morning.

Although St Martin's Island is around 20 km away from Myanmar, the audible shelling from across the border has heightened concerns among residents.

Adnan Chowdhury, the Upazila executive office, said Border Guard Bangladesh and Coast Guard patrols have intensified along the Myanmar border.

Residents have been advised to remain vigilant amid the escalating conflict in Rakhine state.