Bangladesh-Burma border Conflict : 2000

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By Moazzem Hossain in Dhaka

Bangladesh has sent reinforcements to its border with Burma after reports of Burmese troops deployment in the area.

Bangladeshi security officials say they have also put their forces on alert after receiving reports that Burma was laying landmines in border areas.

Journalists from a border town say the sudden increase in troops movement had heightened tension there.

Bangladesh has a 270 km-long border with Burma and most of it is in the inaccessible hilly south-eastern region, covered in deep forest.

Insurgents

It is not clear why the Burmese authorities might have moved their troops close to the border or lay landmines.

Burmese soldiers

Burma is reported to have deployed troops

But local journalists say it could be linked to an increase in insurgent activities in border areas.

Bangladeshi security officials said they had no knowledge of any insurgent activity in the area and added that Bangladesh does not allow any foreign insurgent within its territory.

Landmine explosions

Local authorities said there had been a series of landmine explosions in the Bangladesh-Burma border last week, killing at least three people.

Burma first laid mines along the Bangladesh border in 1992, following the influx of 250,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees to Bangladesh from its bordering province of Arakan.

According to an unofficial estimate, 68 Bangladeshis have been killed in landmine explosions since then.

The relationship between Bangladesh and Burma deteriorated after the Burmese military government initially refused to take the Rohingya refugees back.

However, following the intervention of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) most of the refugees were taken back and only a little over 20,000 refugees were awaiting their repatriation.

BBC

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