Bangladesh and Myanmar patrols exchange fire along river border

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 17, 2015 11:51 AM

DHAKA (Reuters) - One Bangladesh border guard was wounded and another seized by his Myanmar counterparts on Wednesday after the two sides exchanged gunfire while chasing drug smugglers on a river separating their countries.

The Bangladeshis were pursuing the smugglers by boat near Teknaf on the Naff River separating the neighbouring states near Cox's Bazar in southern Bangladesh. The border runs down the middle of the wide river that flows into the nearby Andaman Sea.

The smugglers got away, but a Myanmar border patrol boat opened fire on their Bangladesh counterparts, said Colonel M M Anisur Rahman, the local Bangladesh border guard commander in Cox's Bazar. The Bangladesh patrol fired back.

A Bangladesh guard was seized by the Myanmar patrol after falling in the river and taken away to Myanmar.

"We are trying to hold a flag meeting ... to get back our border patrol member and establish peace on the border," Anisur said, adding that additional border guards had been assigned to patrol the waters along the increasingly tense border.

(Reporting by Serajul Quadir and Mohammad Nurul Islam in Cox's Bazar; Editing by Tom Heneghan)