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Bangladesh boosts troops on Myanmar border

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November 9, 2008

Bangladesh boosts troops on Myanmar border

Bangladesh has deployed more troops along its border with Myanmar, a military official said late Saturday, as tensions between the two countries simmer over a disputed stretch of water, reported AFP.

Colonel Mohammad Anisuzzaman, of the border Bangladesh Rifles, told AFP that extra troops had been deployed in the past two days along the 271-kilometre (168-mile) border it shares with military-ruled Myanmar.

"Because of what is happening in the Bay of Bengal we have taken precautionary measures along the border. We have intensified the presence of our troops there and they are on high alert," he said.

Myanmar has also sent soldiers to the border, a senior Bangladeshi border official told AFP.

Talks between the two countries have failed to resolve the dispute, which began six days ago when Myanmar instructed the Korean company Daewoo to begin drilling in a disputed mineral-rich area.

Bangladesh says it has had assurances from the firm and the South Korean government that work is winding up, but Myanmar, which has discovered huge reserves of natural gas in the Bay of Bengal, insists its exploration work is legal.

More talks between the two nations are due to be held in Dhaka on November 16 and 17.

Tensions flared when Myanmar sent warships to support Daewoo drilling some 50 kilometres south of Bangladesh's Saint Martin Island.

Bangladesh immediately deployed four warships to the area.

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