Myanmar border guards in Maungdaw, Rakhine in June 2018. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A total of 13 policemen were killed and nine others injured in Rakhine insurgents’ attacks on four police posts in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine on January 4.

As the country marked their Independence Day, the rebel Arakan Army sent hundreds of gunmen to the attacks, forcing the police to abandon two of their posts.

The Myanmar military said it is now conducting a "clearance" of the area.

The Arakan Army said that the rebels had freed at least 12 members of the security forces it detained in the fight. It added that the attacks were a response to a Myanmar military offensive against the group in recent weeks.

Earlier in December 2018, Myanmar’s army announced the suspension of all military actions against armed groups which are operating in five military command regions for over four months until April 30, 2019.

According to an announcement of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services, during the military's non-operation period, ethnic armed groups in respective operation areas are to negotiate for ceasefire and peace with the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre.

So far, 10 ethnic armed groups have signed the Nationwide Cease fire Accord (NCA) with the Government since it was initiated in October 2015. Seven Northern Alliance armed groups have yet to sign the pact. –VNA