Timely government intervention saved 5 Indians from the Arakan army in Myanmar: Ministry of Interior

NEW DELHI: The Indian government said Tuesday that its timely intervention ensured the release of five Indians and five Myanmar citizens, including a deputy, who had been taken hostage by an ethnic rebel group in the restless province of Rakhine.

The ministry of home affairs said in a statement that the five Indian nationals, along with a Member of Myanmar Parliament, two local transporters and two speedboat operators, were abducted by the Arakan Army on Sunday while on their way from Paletwa in Chin State to in Rakhine

The abducted Indians were engaged in building the Kaladan road project in Myanmar.

Timely intervention by the government of India has ensured release of five abducted Indian nationals, a Member of Myanmar Parliament and four other Myanmar nationals from Arakan Army in the of Myanmar, in the early hours on Monday, the statement said.

An Indian citizen died in the custody of Arakan's army due to a heart attack, he added.

According to available information, he was a patient with chronic diabetes. The liberated Indian citizens, along with the body of the deceased, arrived in Sittwe and will depart to Yangon on Tuesday for their next trip to India, he said.

The Arakan army is a Rakhine-based insurgent group founded as the armed wing of the United League of Arakan (ULA).