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Arakan Army offers to return captured Burmese soldiers

The Arakan Army released a photograph of three soldiers and weaponry it said it captured from Burmese government forces on 20 May 2018.

The Arakan Army (AA) has offered to return three soldiers that it captured from the Burmese army in an armed clash in Buthidaung last weekend.

According to the ethnic armed group’s spokesperson Khine Thukha, the three Burmese servicemen – a lance corporal and two privates – were taken prisoner in a firefight near the northern Arakanese town of Buthidaung on 20 May; however the AA wishes to hand the men over to Burmese military authorities via the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

“We have in the past returned prisoners of war via the ICRC, and we would like to do the same for these three soldiers if the ICRC is willing,” said Khine Thukha.

The three captives, whose names were released, have been kept “in adequate conditions and treated humanely,” said the AA spokesperson.

The AA posted photographs of the three Burmese alongside weapons, ammunition and equipment seized from the Burmese army’s 263rd Infantry Battalion during the skirmish.

The Burmese military has yet to make an announcement regarding the incident or the offer.