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For the first time, Myanmar forces flee into Bangladesh during fighting with an ethnic armed group

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — More than 100 members of Myanmar’s Border Guard Police have fled their posts and taken shelter in Bangladesh to escape fighting between Myanmar security forces and an ethnic minority army, an official with Bangladesh’s border agency said Monday.

It is the first time that Myanmar forces have been known to flee into Bangladesh since an alliance of ethnic minority armies in Myanmar launched an offensive against the military government late last year.

Shariful Islam, spokesperson for Border Guard Bangladesh, said the Myanmar forces entered over the past two days during fighting with the Arakan Army in Myanmar’s Rakhine state bordering Bangladesh.

The 103 troops entered through the Tombru border in Bandarban district, he said.

“They have been disarmed and taken to safe places,” he said.

Myanmar’s military government had no immediate comment.

Also on Monday, Bangladeshi media said two persons — a Bangladeshi woman and a Rohingya refugee— were killed in shelling from Myanmar after a house in Bandarban was hit.

Bangladesh’s law minister, Anisul Huq, told Parliament that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had instructed the military and paramilitary border guards to have patience in dealing with the tensions across the border.

“Bangladesh is observing the situation closely and steps will be taken,” the United News of Bangladesh agency quoted him as saying.

Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud said Monday that Myanmar’s ambassador to Bangladesh, U. Aung Kyaw Moe, and Deputy Foreign Minister, U. Lwin Oo, told Bangladesh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs that they would take back their troops sheltered in Bangladesh.

The ministry also sent a “note verbale” to the Myanmar envoy in Dhaka, protesting bullets and mortar