At least 19 children were reportedly wounded when artillery fire hit a primary school in Rakhine state on Thursday, February 13. The school, which was hit by shelling on Thursday morning (local time), is located in Buthidaung township. A military spokesman has reportedly blamed insurgents for the attack. Investigations into the incident are ongoing as of Thursday. This violence comes days after an internet shutdown was imposed on the region due to "security requirements and public interest," according to officials.
Similar incidents are likely in Rakhine state over the near term.
Violence resumed in early December 2018 between Rakhine separatists and the military. The Arakan Army seeks greater autonomy for Buddhists in Rakhine state. According to the Myanmar office of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), about 7500 displaced people are scattered across 29 sites in Rakhine due to the violence and 730,000 people in neighboring Bangladesh.
Individuals in Rakhine state are advised to monitor developments, prepare for continuing telecommunications disruptions, remain vigilant for militant and military activity, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
Travelers are advised to avoid all but essential travel to Rakhine state, except the southern townships of Kyaukpyu, Ramree, Munaung, Toungup, Thandwe (including the tourist resort of Ngapali), and Gwa.