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Myanmar troopers attack Bangladeshi fishermen


Dhaka : Eleven Bangladeshi fishermen have allegedly been hurt in firing by Nasaka, the border security force of Myanmar, in a trans-border clash in the Bay of Bengal’s upper reaches, media reports said here Saturday.

Dhaka claims that its fishermen were forcibly prevented by Nasaka personnel from fishing in the estuary region around St. Martin’s Island and they also looted their boats Thursday.

The Daily Star newspaper quoted fishermen as saying that Nasaka troopers fired at them within the maritime boundary of Bangladesh.

They said fishermen in Cox’s Bazar area have been catching Hilsa fish in large numbers since June 1. Till Thursday, they caught Hilsa worth about 60 million taka ($1 million).

“Nasaka troops entered the channel Thursday morning and attacked us so that we don’t go fishing there,” said a fisherman.

Amir Hamza, 45, who fled from the channel in the face of the attack, said Nasaka personnel have been attacking Bangladeshi fishermen in a bid to establish control over the channel.

Maritime borders of Bangladesh and Myanmar, as also Bangladesh’s border with India, remain un-demarcated, leading to clashes and affecting fishing activity.

Oil and gas exploration activity has also been affected. Survey ships of India and Myanmar have been sought to be prevented by Bangladesh, which is sandwiched between the neighbours.

All the three are supposed to submit their claims on maritime boundary to the UN this year.