Rohingya Islamist group blamed for border attacks has Pakistan links

Dhaka, Oct 19 (IANS) Myanmar has blamed a little known Rohingya Islamist group with links with the Pakistan Taliban for the recent spate of attacks on outposts along the Myanmar-Bangladesh border, a media report said on Wednesday.

A statement from the office of Myanmar’s President Htin Kyaw has blamed the little-known “Aqa Mul Mujahideen” for the recent attacks around Maungdaw township, a mainly Muslim area near the border with Bangladesh.

Nine Myanmar policemen were killed in the attack and eight attackers were gunned down on October 8 in Maungdaw.

The AMM is headed by Hafiz Tohar, a 45-year-old Rohingya from Maungdaw’s Kyauk Pyin Seik village in Myanmar, bdnews24 reported.

According to Myanmar intelligence, Tohar was trained by the Pakistan Taliban for six months, after which he returned to the Rakhine state to recruit young Rohingyas.

Bdnews24 quoted Indian intelligence agencies as saying that Tohar’s group has grown out of the Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami-Arakaan (HUJI-A).

The HUJI-A chief is Abdus Qadoos Burmi, a Pakistani national of Rohingya origin, who recruited Tohar, 45, and arranged for his training in Pakistan.

Qadoos Burmi is reported to be close to the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) headed by Hafiz Sayeed.

He developed the HUJI-A network in Bangladesh, using the remote hills on the border with Myanmar, where coverage by Bangladesh security forces was at best limited.

After training a few promising recruits in Pakistan, they were sent to set up bases on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, where new Rohingya recruits were trained in combat techniques and use of explosives.

Bdnews24 quoted senior Indian intelligence officials as saying that in July 2012, JuD and LeT started Difa-e-Musalman-e-Arakaan conference in Pakistan to highlight the Rohingya cause.

Indian officials say Rohingya militants could be used to disturb the Myanmar-Bangladesh border zone not only by staging attacks inside Myanmar but also by forging close links with jihadi groups in both Bangladesh and India.

–IANS

sm/rn/vt

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