Gunfire heard near Teknaf border, 2 mortar shells recovered from Naikhongchhari

Fighting continues between junta forces and insurgents near the country’s border with Bangladesh

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 10 Feb 2024, 09:36 AM
Updated : 10 Feb 2024, 09:36 AM

Residents of the border region of Teknaf’s Whykong Union say the sound of heavy gunfire and the explosions of mortar shells have been heard since Saturday morning.

A bullet from across the border also struck a home in the area.

Two undetonated mortar shells have also been recovered from the Ghumdhum border area in Bandarban’s Naikhongchhari. A woman took the shells home after she saw children playing with them. They were then turned over to the BGB.

However, the border areas in Cox’s Bazar’s Ukhiya and Ghumdum are peaceful for the moment.

Local residents have reported several bodies in the border region next to an interior road that winds along the Naf River in Ukhiya near the border and on the Myanmar side.

MORTAR SHELLS AT GHUMDHUM

There were no sounds of gunfire from across the Ghumdhum border on Saturday, but residents of the area remained anxious after two mortar shells were found nearby.

Two shells were found in the morning, said Jahangir Aziz, chairman of the local union council.

“The BGB cordoned off the mortar shells with red flags. Rocket launchers are being found in the fields and agricultural land near Myanmar. Sometimes residents of border areas are touching them and children are playing with them without understanding the situation. This is giving rise to worry.”

“But we have not heard any new gunfire from across the Ghumdhum border. The last time we heard gunfire was Friday afternoon. Bullets fell on this side at the time.

Razia, a woman who found mortar shells when she went to tend to her crops on Saturday morning, said, “I was working in the field. Then I saw the children playing with what looked like a long iron rod. I took the thing from them and brought it home. Later, my husband told me it was a weapon. After that, we turned it over to the BGB.”

“No one knows how deadly the weapons are,” said border resident Abdur Rashid. “Many residents and children in the area don’t even know that those are explosives.”

Mortar shells were previously found amid the ongoing conflict between junta forces and rebels in Myanmar’s border areas. They have since been seized by security personnel.

Two people, including a Bangladeshi woman, have been killed by gunfire and shelling from Myanmar. At least eight others have received gunshot wounds.

BULLET STRIKES HOUSE IN WHYKONG

A bullet from across the border struck a house in Whykong Union.

Senuara Begum, the woman representative for a reserved seat on the Whykong Union council, said the bullet struck the tin roof of Abdul Alim’s house just behind her own home in the early hours of the day. It pierced the tin and then struck the floor of the veranda.

Those at home were asleep at the time, but the incident has created a panic in the area.

Senuara said they had heard regular sounds of gunfire from Thursday evening to late into the night. But the sounds of fighting stopped afterwards.

Village residents were startled awake early on Saturday by the sound of gunfire. The bullet was retrieved from Abdul Alim’s home afterwards.

ONLY DOGS CAN REACH BODIES LYING NEAR BORDER

For two days, a body has been lying a short distance away from the abandoned construction work on a road that winds along the border and the Naf River in Cox’s Bazar’s Ukhiya.

Amid the conflict across the border in Myanmar, no one has attempted to retrieve it.

Local residents say there are quite a few bodies like this in the border area. The village dogs have been picking at the bodies, but have not moved them away.

Several villagers have snapped the incidents on their phones. But no one is risking entering the firing range to try and recover the bodies.

The police have heard of a single body that is lying on this side of the border, said Shameem Hossain, chief of Ukhiya Police Station. Locals have also reported several bodies across the border, he added.

The OC said the police had spoken to the BGB regarding the issue and a team would be sent to the area to recover the body.