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Fox News Flash top headlines for February 8

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  • About 340 Burmese security forces, including members of its Border Guard Police, are now reported to have fled the country for Bangladesh, according to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud.
  • The exodus of troops across Burma’s western border came amid fighting with the Arakan Army rebel group, a subsidiary of the Three Brotherhood Alliance.
  • Ethnic rebel groups have made significant advances in recent months against Burma’s military government, which has held power since it deposed democratically-elected State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi in 2021.

About 340 members of Burma’s Border Guard Police and soldiers have fled into Bangladesh during fighting with an ethnic minority army, Bangladesh’s foreign minister said Thursday.

Hasan Mahmud said 340 security personnel had entered Bangladesh by Wednesday. He said Bangladesh is having discussions with Burma’s government about the issue and that it is willing to take them back.

Mahmud made the comments while on a visit to India, his first since becoming foreign minister last month.


Earlier this week, Bangladesh’s border agency said some Burmese troops had entered in recent days during fighting with the Arakan Army in Burma’s Rakhine state bordering Bangladesh. It was the first time that Burmese forces have been known to flee into Bangladesh since an alliance of ethnic minority armies in Burma launched an offensive against the military government late last year.

Burmese Border Guard Police

Burmese Border Guard officers are seen after fleeing the country amid a clash with ethnic rebel forces, Ghumdhum, Bandarban, Bangladesh, on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Shafiqur Rahman)

Officials said the troops that entered had been disarmed and taken to safe places.

Mahmud said he had also raised the issue with India, which shares a 1,020-mile border with Burma and is home to thousands of refugees from Burma in different states. Indian officials in November estimated that thousands had entered northeastern states in India to flee heavy fighting in Burma’s western Chin state.

Separately on Thursday, India’s Home Ministry announced that it would end visa-free movement between India and Burma “to ensure the internal security of the country.” The Free Movement Regime, as it is known, is an agreement between the two countries that allows people living along the border to travel up to 10 miles inside the other country without a visa.

The Arakan Army is the military wing of the Rakhine ethnic minority that seeks autonomy from Burma’s central government. It has been attacking army outposts in the western state since November.

It is part of an alliance of ethnic minority armies called the Three Brotherhood Alliance that launched an offensive in October and gained strategic territory in Burma’s northeast bordering China. Its success was seen as a major defeat for the military government, which seized power in February 2021 from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi and is now embroiled in a wide-ranging civil war.


Bangladesh shares a 168-mile border with Buddhist-dominated Burma and hosts more than 1 million Muslim Rohingya refugees, many of whom fled from Burma starting in August 2017 when its military launched a brutal “clearance operation” against them following attacks by an insurgent group.

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