DHAKA, Jan. 3, Reuter: A rebel and a government soldier were killed in a skirmish in the New Year’s first outbreak of guerrilla warfare in Southern Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill tracts, local officials said today. ;

They said the fighting broke out when members of the “Shanti Bahini” (Peace Force) ambushed a company of government troops on Thursday night near Matidanga in Khagrachhari district.

The troops repulsed the attack but a soldier and a guerrilla were killed during the exchange of machinegun fire. Troops also captured five insurgents who were trying to flee after being outnumbered, officials said?

This was the first attack in 1987 by the Shanti Bahini, which has been fighting a guerrilla war for a decade seeking self-rule for the 14,200 sq. km (5,500 square miles) Chittagong Hill tracts.

The rebels also want expulsion of some 3,000 settlers, whom they claim are usurping tribal lands.

Article extracted from this publication >>  January 9, 1987