Battles continue in border region between Chin State, Magway Region

Daily battles have been occurring between the military and the local defence forces in the border region between Chin State and Magway Region since December 12, with the junta suffering several casualties, according to resistance groups. 

Around 70 Myanmar army troops are occupying three villages between Saw Township in Magway and Mindat in Chin State: Kyee, Lelsaw and Maelegone, according to a spokesperson from the Mindat chapter of the Chinland Defence Force (CDF).

Yaw Man, the CDF Mindat’s spokesperson, said his group has been collaborating with the National Unity Government’s anti-junta People’s Defence Force (PDF) chapters from Kyaukhtu Township and the Yaw region in Magway and carrying out ambushes on those junta forces. 

Yaw Man told Myanmar Now that multiple suspected informants, junta administrators and members of the pro-military Pyu Saw Htee network had been killed by the resistance in recent days, and that could be why the military had intensified its occupation of the region. 

He suspects that another reason could be the recent alliance formed between the Yaw PDF and Mindat CDF.

“We managed to connect the Yaw PDF with the Mindat CDF, so the military is trying to protect their own people and clear the area,” he said. 

The spokesperson explained that they had ambushed the military column in question between Kyee and Lelsaw in Saw Township on Sunday and Monday. 

A clash broke out after the resistance coalition attacked the military column with explosive devices near Maelegone, seven miles away from Lelsaw, on Wednesday, Yaw Man said. 

He said that there had been no casualties on the side of the local defence forces in the recent battles, but speculated that at least 10 junta soldiers had been killed.

Myanmar Now was unable to independently verify the Mindat CDF spokesperson’s claim. 

Tension has reportedly risen since 100 junta troop reinforcements from Kyaukhtu arrived in Maelegone on Wednesday evening, with the resistance also bringing in extra manpower. 

According to a report issued by the Mindat CDF on Wednesday, the military column operating in the area raided homes belonging to at least 10 anti-dictatorship activists in Kyee and Lelsaw on Sunday, stealing gold jewelry and cash that they found in the individuals’ residences. 

Myanmar Now has also been unable to confirm the Mindat CDF’s account of military robberies and arrests in the two villages. 

The Myanmar army has been sending troop reinforcements to Chin State and Magway, as well as carrying out airstrikes in the region, which have forced thousands of villagers to flee. 

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