Bangladesh commander threatens Burma with ‘befitting response’

In this file photo from 2012, members of the Border Guard of Bangladesh (BGB) stand patrol the Naf River. (PHOTO: REUTERS)

As the body of slain Bangladeshi soldier Nayek Mizanur Rahman was being transported home after an autopsy on Monday, a Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) commander issued a statement warning Burma it would be dealt a “befitting response” if such an incident takes place in the future.

According to Dhaka-based Daily Star, tension is still running high at the Bangladesh-Burma border after a clash occurred – an “unprovoked attack”, according to the Bangladeshis – between the two sides last week, resulting in the death of the 43-year-old Bangladeshi corporal.

“We want a friendly relationship with all bordering countries. But if the Myanmar Border Guard Police attack again, BGB will give a befitting response immediately,” the BGB’s Chittagong regional commander Brig-Gen Syed Ahmed Ali was quoted as saying at a press briefing on Monday.

The Chittagong commander’s comments continue a war of words between the neighbouring countries, with each side blaming the other for an incident on 28 May when a Burmese border patrol opened fire on their Bangladeshi counterparts, killing Corp Mizanur.

Bangladesh maintains that the exchange of gunfire took place on Bangladeshi soil, between boundary markers 51-mile and 52-mile.

Burma’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs claims that two men in unmarked camouflage uniform encroached onto Burmese territory, and were assumed to be members of the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO) insurgency group.

However, according to Rohingya activist Aung Win, who is based in Sittwe, the RSO are not active in that area, and the Burmese accusations are “nothing but propaganda”.

“Any remaining members of the RSO are located in Bangladesh’s hill-tracts,” he told DVB on Tuesday.

And as the funeral for Corp. Mizanur was being held on Tuesday at his home town in Comilla, 100km southeast of capital Dhaka, the Daily Star reported that a similar but unrelated incident had happened at the country’s Indian border where Indian border guards had shot and killed a 26-year Bangladeshi cattle trader.

By COLIN HINSHELWOOD (DVB)

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