International NewsNews

Myanmar Ethnic Minority Fighters Claim Control of Port Town Amid Ongoing Clashes

Fighters from the Arakan Army (AA), an ethnic minority armed group in Myanmar, have asserted complete control over Pauktaw, a port town in western Rakhine state. The AA had briefly taken Pauktaw in November, breaking a ceasefire established after the military coup in 2021. Since then, the junta has bombarded the town regularly with artillery and naval attacks.

New Google Earth images reveal extensive damage, with the downtown area reduced to rubble and buildings near the harbor destroyed. The AA claims that junta troops left the town on January 19, and the group now has checkpoints in place. The junta has not officially commented on the recent developments, and communication with Pauktaw remains limited. The AA has been engaged in a long-standing conflict seeking greater autonomy for the ethnic Rakhine population in the state.