Country Risk

Arrest of Buddhists following multiple IEDs detonated in Myanmar’s Rakhine State indicates increasing separatist militancy

02 March 2018


On 28 February, an Arakan National Council (ANC) committee member told local media on that local authorities in Myanmar had arrested seven people, including an ANC executive, following the detonation of three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Rakhine State’s capital, Sittwe, on 24 February.

The ANC is a separatist organisation, allied with the Arakan Army (AA), which is formed by Buddhist militants operating in Rakhine. The ANC has issued a statement denying its involvement in the IED attacks, but local media linked the incident to Buddhist groups’ anger over police opening fire on Buddhist protesters in Mrauk-U Township on 16 January, which killed seven people, and to the 30 January murder of a Mrauk-U official who had banned the protest.

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