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Bangladesh plays down border tension with Burma

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Amid a troop buildup along the Burma- Bangladesh border, Bangladesh said Thursday it was not supporting any Burmese guerrillas on its territory.

Speaking to reporters, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said the situation 'has now been contained,' following last Saturday's attack by Burmese troops on a Bangladesh border outpost that left two Bangladeshis dead and 22 injured.

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'We have strengthened our forces along the border areas,' the spokesman said.

Burma had not yet given a positive response to Bangladesh's request for a border meeting to defuse the tension, he said.

The resident Burmese ambassador in Dhaka, Soe Myint, was offered a helicopter to fly to the spot in the district of Banderban 350 miles southeast of Dhaka, where the Burmese incursion took place. The spokesman did not reveal if the ambassador had accepted the offer.

According to local press reports, more than 25,000 Burmese troops were deployed along the hilly and heavily forested border. Burmese troops were reported to be massing within 7 miles of the Bangladesh border.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman in Dhaka said Burmese authorities had told Bangladesh that the troop build-up along the border was directed at the threat posed by insurgents of the Burmese communist party and the Arakan Rohynga Islamic Front.

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'This issue is something that should not be allowed to be blown out ?B ppopo00 of whom fled to Bangladesh earlier in the year.

'Bangladesh wants a peaceful solution of any problems. Our desire is to get along with the Burmese in a peaceful way,' he said. 'We have never been a party to Burma's internal affairs ... we have always maintained a moderate and constru tive approach.'

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