Bangladesh returns ‘lost’ Myanmar soldier

Bangladeshi security forces detained Myanmar soldier Aung Bo Bo Thein on January 24 near the southern town of Naikhongchhari after he strayed across the border into a jungle. (AFP)
Updated 03 March 2019
0

Bangladesh returns ‘lost’ Myanmar soldier

  • Ties between Bangladesh and Myanmar have soured since about 740,000 Rohingya Muslims fled the Buddhist-majority country
  • Bangladesh and Myanmar signed an agreement in November 2017 for the repatriation of the Rohingya

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh: Bangladesh forces handed back on Sunday a Myanmar soldier more than two months after he strayed across the border into a jungle in the Muslim-majority nation, a senior official said.
Aung Bo Bo Thein, 30, was detained by Bangladeshi security forces on January 24 near the southern town of Naikhongchhari, Brig. Gen. Sajedur Rahman said.
“He crossed the border and was found in a jungle. Today we have handed him over to Myanmar border police through a flag meeting,” said Rahman, border guard regional commander.
Ties between Bangladesh and Myanmar have soured since about 740,000 Rohingya Muslims fled the Buddhist-majority country in 2017 following a military clampdown in restive Rakhine state.
Dhaka had already been hosting another 300,000 Rohingya who took refuge in squalid camps in Bangladesh’s southeastern Cox’s Bazar district after previous bouts of violence.
Bangladesh and Myanmar signed an agreement in November 2017 for the repatriation of the Rohingya, but the persecuted Muslim minority has refused to go back unless they are granted citizenship and other rights.
This week Bangladesh told the UN Security Council that it will no longer be able to take in refugees from Myanmar.
Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque told a Council meeting that the crisis over the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya sheltering in his country had gone from “bad to worse” and urged the council to take “decisive” action.
Rahman said Rohingya arrivals from Myanmar have almost stopped, with none arriving in the past few weeks.
Bangladesh in recent months has stepped up security near the border to curb smuggling of Yaba — a popular methamphetamine pill — across the border from Myanmar, he said.
Myanmar’s Ambassador Hau Do Suan insisted his government was taking steps and appealed for patience.


Pakistani activist known for criticism killed in Islamabad

Updated 5 min 38 sec ago
0

Pakistani activist known for criticism killed in Islamabad

  • Local police say online activist Mohammad Bilal Khan was killed Sunday night
  • In addition to his activism, Khan was a freelance journalist

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani police say an activist known for his online criticism of the country’s military and politicians has been killed by unknown assailants in a wooded area of the capital, Islamabad.
Local police official Ayaz Khan says Mohammad Bilal Khan was killed Sunday night, drawing condemnation from his friends on social media.
Police said Monday that an unknown person called the activist to come to the Karachi Company neighborhood, where he and his cousin were attacked with daggers.
The cousin was in critical condition.
In addition to his activism, Khan was a freelance journalist.
The attack took place hours after Khan bluntly criticized the newly appointed spy chief Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed, who had previously worked as the head of internal security at Pakistan’s intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence.