By: Eastern Eye Staff
Bangladesh on Wednesday (8) rebuked Myanmar for opening fire on a boat in the Naf river that marks their border and killing one fisherman, describing it as an “act of unprovoked aggression”.
Tensions have been running high since thousands of Rohingya began pouring over the border, fleeing a crackdown by the Myanmar army which began in October.
It was the second time that Myanmar forces had fired on Bangladeshi fishermen.
Bangladesh’s foreign ministry expressed “deep concern” at the latest shooting on Monday (6), which also seriously injured another crewman aboard the trawler.
“The ministry expressed deep concern at the repetition of such acts of aggression that do not contribute towards building up of an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding among neighbours,” it said.
Police said Myanmar border guards opened fire without warning on the fishing boat when it unintentionally strayed into Myanmar waters.
Officials in the district of Teknaf said fisherman Nurul Amin, 26, was killed when a Myanmar navy vessel approached his boat at speed in the river .
The Myanmar boat chased the small wooden fishing boat toward the Bangladeshi bank of the river before opening fire, they said.
One fisherman was being treated for a bullet wound and another went overboard but swam to safety, said the sources, including Colonel Anisur Rahman, Border Guard Bangladesh commander for Cox’s Bazar.
Rahman said the Myanmar vessel had “crossed into Bangladesh’s body of water”.
Bangladesh officials said in late December four Bangladeshi fishermen were injured by Myanmar’s navy in an incident on the border.
A spokesman for the office of Myanmar president Htin Kyaw, said the information in the newspaper report came directly from the navy and he could not give any more details.
“This is a complicated issue,” said the spokesman, Zaw Htay, adding it would take time to “find out the real situation of this incident”.
Nearly 70,000 Rohingya Muslims have entered Bangladesh in recent months, with stories of killings and mass rape by Myanmar soldiers that have raised global alarm and sparked protests around aoutheast Asia.
The army says it is hunting militants who mounted deadly raids on police posts in October.
According to the Bangladesh government, some 400,000 Rohingya are living in Bangladesh and most are unregistered.
Dhaka last week asked diplomats and UN agencies to support a controversial plan to relocate Rohingya refugees to a remote island.