NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar: Myanmar’s army said on Friday it killed 13 ethnic Rakhine fighters in counterstrikes after the well-armed group carried out deadly attacks on police posts earlier this month. Rakhine state has seen new levels of violence in recent weeks between the Arakan Army (AA) -- insurgents fighting for greater autonomy for ethnic Rakhine Buddhists -- and security forces.
Many of the battles are taking place in the same region from which more than 720,000 Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh after August 2017 when the army launched a crackdown the UN deemed ethnic cleansing.
On January 4, also Myanmar’s independence day, the AA launched pre-dawn raids that killed 13 police officers and wounded nine before the army stepped in, setting off violence that has displaced thousands. But the army hit back, killing the same number of AA rebels in total in operations from January 5-16.
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