At least two policemen killed in attack along Myanmar-Bangladesh border

The number of dead policemen could be as high as eight. In photo: Burmese police force (Representative image) Photograph:( Reuters )

Rakhine, Myanmar (Burma) Oct 09, 2016, 05.42 AM (IST)

At least two policemen were killed in three attacks along the Myanmar-Bangladesh border early on Sunday morning, a police official said.

"According to initial information, two police officers were killed, two others were injured and six police are missing," Tin Maung Swe, a senior official with the government of Myanmar's Rakhine, where the attack took place, told AFP.

A second police official, however, said that as many as eight policemen and some of the attackers might have been killed.

Weapons were also recovered from the assailants from the border post, AFP reported the official as saying.

It was not immediately known which group carried out the attack.

Rakhine's sectarian tensions

Rakhine, an impoverished state in Myanmar, has been fraught with sectarian tensions between the hardliner Buddhist nationalists and Rohingya Muslims since 2012.

Buddhist nationalists consider Rohingyas, an ethnic Muslim minority group living primarily in Rakhine, as outsiders and are opposed to the government granting them citizenship.

Bouts of communal violence between the two communities and discriminatory policies of the Myanmar government have forced tens of thousands to flee and take shelter in squalid refugee camps in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. 

But unlike in eastern and northern border states, Rohingyas don't have much of a military presence.

Observers, however, say that continued persecution might prompt the Rohingyas to develop a significant militant faction.

A surge in violence in the ravaged state of Rakhine could be a major migraine for the newly-elected Aung San Suu Kyi government. 

(WION with inputs from AFP)