Government soldiers engaged Arakan Army (AA) fighters near multiple villages in Rakhine state between Sunday, June 2, and Monday, June 3. Fighting started near the villages of Shwe Tamar and Aung Taing (Minbya township) around 14:00 (local time). At least five civilians were wounded in the clashes and another 800 villagers reportedly took shelter in a nearby monastery. An AA spokesperson also reported that three fighters were killed and another four wounded in the fighting. On Monday, five civilians were killed after a mortar round landed in the village of Sapar Htar. Additional fighting is possible in the area over the coming days.
Violence resumed in early December 2018 between Rakhine separatists and the military. The Arakan Army seeks greater autonomy for Buddhists in Rakhine state. According to the Myanmar office of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), about 7500 displaced people are scattered across 29 sites in Rakhine due to the violence and 730,000 people in neighboring Bangladesh.
Individuals in Rakhine state are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant and military activity, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
Travelers are advised to avoid all but essential travel to Rakhine state, except the southern townships of Kyaukpyu, Ramree, Munaung, Toungup, Thandwe (including the tourist resort of Ngapali), and Gwa.
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