At least two people were killed and seven others wounded after Myanmar troops reportedly shelled the Rohingya village of Kin Taung (Rakhine state) early (local time) on Saturday, January 25. Government forces have been battling Rakhine separatists in the state for over a year. Military officials confirmed the casualties, but attributed responsibility to the Arakan Army rebel group.
A heightened security presence is expected in the area over the coming hours and days. Similar incidents are possible in Rakhine state over the near term.
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 Human Affairs (OCHA), about 7500 displaced people are scattered across 29 sites in Rakhine due to 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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