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February 13, 2022

A Rohingya driver in north of Maungdaw, Rakhine State compelled to be a human shield was reportedly killed in a clash between the Burmese Army and AA on February 7, 2022.

On February 7, Daw Saw Khin Hla, 50, of Pharwat Chaung village, north of Maungdaw, hired a Rohingya driver Arjit Hussein, 25, of south village in Ngen Chaung village tract along with his Liffan car to bring timbers from the upper part of Kyin Chaung village, said a relative of the victim.

An eye witness with the condition of anonymity said while both of them were crossing the place of the clash taking place between military and Arakan Army (AA) by driving, the army stopped and interrogated and then refused to allow them to carry timbers.

But the driver and the car were commandeered by the military to take injured forces to Maungdaw Hospital. While he was driving back, he unexpectedly hit a landmine planted by AA at 11:15 pm in Pharwat Chaung (locally Pho Khali) village.

A cousin of the victim told β€œThe landmine blast terribly burnt one side of my brother’s face and chopped a leg off for what he died on the spot.”

The dead body was dumped on the side of the road and on January 8, it was handed over to Ngen Chaung village administrator at 10 am.

Saw Khin Hla, the woman who rented the car, was also with the driver for which she died in the blast, the cousin siad.

A Rohingya activist said β€œThe Burmese military’s use of Rohingya as human shields in battle instead of its troops is a grave violation of human rights.”

A resident living nearby the place where the fight is going on said, “We live in fear. The young man was killed by the military for forcing him to be a porter. His family should be compensated. Government should also pay compensation for the car.”

β€œAnd AA also needs to fight preventing civilian casualties,” said another resident.

In the place of the clash between the army and AA, due to the clearance operation of Burmese military in 2017, a Rakhine village has been left after the Rohingya villagers fled to Bangladesh.

After the incident, Maungdaw-Kyin Chaung Road has been closed since February 8 and travelling from one village to another is also restricted, a local said.

Reported By: Maung Wunna

Editor: Md. Shuaib