After Chin resistance destroys military convoy, stranded junta soldiers occupy nearby village 

Myanmar army troops who survived an ambush by resistance forces that destroyed a 30-vehicle convoy remain stranded outside of the Chin State capital of Hakha, according to local sources.

On April 13, the Chin National Army (CNA) used drones and landmines to ambush several six- and 12-wheeled trucks and two armoured vehicles near the village of Chuncung, 10 miles north of Hakha, their destination.

Unable to continue their journey, junta troops from the convoy established posts inside Chuncung, including at the village church, CNA spokesperson Salai Htet Ni told Myanmar Now. There, he said, they had burnt down 40 homes, doubling down on their occupation. 

“It doesn’t look like they’re going to head towards Hakha from Chuncung anytime soon,” Salai Htet Ni explained. “It appears that they are going to set up a station in the village.”

Another junta column in Hakha had attempted to join the soldiers in Chuncung as reinforcements, but were intercepted by Chin defence forces, he added. However, they torched nearly 30 houses in Hnee Law Yan village, less than a half mile from Hakha.

Resistance groups speculated that the convoy which they attacked had been transporting food, fuel, weapons and ammunition to its troops in Chin State. It left Kalay, in Sagaing Region, on March 7 and headed 60 miles to the town of Falam before departing for Hakha. The initial journey took 12 days, because the vehicles were intercepted multiple times by guerilla fighters along the highway. 

When the unit was later destroyed entirely just before reaching Hakha, it marked the first time that an entire military convoy was halted and overrun in the state. 

In the series of attacks on the vehicles over the past month, guerrilla forces claim that dozens of Myanmar army soldiers were killed, but Myanmar Now is unable to independently verify the number of casualties. 

Nine members of the Chin resistance forces were also killed in the clashes and at least seven were injured, according to Salai Htet Ni. Among the deceased were two CNA members, including second lieutenant Pa Khar and another soldier whose identity could not be confirmed at the time of reporting; Salai Larl Cung Bikh of the Chinland Defence Force’s Hakha chapter was also a casualty. 

Second Lieutenant Pa Khar and another unidentified member of the CNA killed during the recent ambushes (Supplied)

Residents of more than 10 villages along the road connecting Hakha and Falam had fled their homes due to fears of junta airstrikes and artillery fire. 

“Over 1,000 people were displaced to Hakha while some fled to nearby forests, but we don’t have a complete list yet,” a Hakha-based volunteer helping the displaced persons said. “Some of them have been staying in Hakha for over a month now. Some stay at relatives’ houses while others rent rooms together.”

Road blockages have caused a rise in commodity prices in the town, he added, which has caused difficulties for both locals and the fleeing villagers. 

“We will completely run out of rice if the road remains blocked for another month,” the man told Myanmar Now. 

The CNA’s Salai Htet Ni said that a clash broke out between local resistance forces and a 100-soldier junta column travelling from Gangaw in Magway towards Hakha on Wednesday. Another column of the same size was spotted going in the direction of Tedim from Kalay, causing anti-junta groups to prepare for a possible escalation of fighting. 

Since late March, the regime’s air force has carried out airstrikes on three Chin State villages where no clashes had previously taken place, killing 21 civilians, including four children. 

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