Myanmar reopens border gate with Bangladesh

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Yangon: Myanmar has reopened a border gate with Bangladesh which was temporarily closed following terrorist attacks on some three border posts in 2016, the State Counsellor’s Office here said on Thursday.

The border gate (number one) was reopened for entry and departure in Maungtaw in Rakhine state over the weekend following restoration of peace and stability in the region after Myanmar negotiated with Bangladesh, Xinhua news agency reported.

The surprise coordinated attacks by armed men on three border posts in Maungtaw on October 9, 2016 prompted the then closure of all border gates with Bangladesh for more than four months, resulting in financial hardship for local traders.

Myanmar’s Rakhine Violence Investigation Commission, which was formed on December 1, 2016 and led by First Vice President U Myint Swe to probe into the background on the violent attacks, has so far inspected Maungtaw’s attacked areas four times to find out the truth.

The armed men’s attack on three border posts, namely Kyikanpyi in Maungtaw, Kotankauk in Buthedaung and Ngakhuya Office, had killed five soldiers and eight policemen .

In the latest development, Myanmar’s Sittway district court has handed out death sentence to one of the 14 attackers captured.

The remaining 13 culprits are still under investigation.

A dusk-to-dawn curfew was imposed in Maungtaw since October 10, 2016 but the curfew hours were reduced since February 10 for the next two months as peace and stability were improving in the region.

The commission was originally tasked to formally report to the president by January 31, but it has been postponed. The overall report will be released when the investigation process is completely accomplished.

Meanwhile, the commission released an interim report on January 4, exposing that the armed attacks in Maungtaw were conducted by Havid Tuhar-led Aqa Mul Mujahidin linked with Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO) operating in the region.

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