Chin armed group vows to reclaim base overtaken by Myanmar military

The anti-junta Chinland Defence Force (CDF) chapter in Kanpetlet, southern Chin State, will attempt to reclaim a command post occupied by the junta’s armed forces who used their stronger firepower to drive the resistance group out of the location on Wednesday. 

A CDF spokesperson told Myanmar Now that around 200 Myanmar army soldiers waged a seven-hour attack starting at 8am on the site near San Ma Thar village, three miles north of Kanpetlet town, ultimately forcing the CDF to withdraw. 

“We don’t want to clash with them near the villages but we must take our command post back. We are planning to take it back if they are going to station themselves there,” he said. 

The CDF-Mindat, as well as two groups from Magway Region—the Saw People’s Defence Force, and the Yaw region-based Youth Force—fought alongside the CDF-Kanpetlet in Wednesday’s battle. During the fighting, junta artillery units from Kanpetlet and Mindat as well as Kyauk Htu in Magway fired hundreds of shells at the resistance forces.

Nine homes reportedly caught fire after one of the shells exploded near San Ma Thar. It was not known if any villagers were injured in the incident. 

“We could have continued fighting until we had no bullets left. We decided to leave for the safety of the civilians in the area,” the CDF-Kanpetlet spokesperson said. 

One member of the group was reportedly killed and two were injured in the clash. 

The military council does not typically release information on battles with resistance forces nationwide. It is not known if they suffered casualties in the recent fighting in Kanpetlet.

The artillery fire by the junta’s forces continued after the CDF’s retreat, the group’s spokesperson added. 

“They didn’t enter the base immediately but they had it surrounded. I don’t know if they even knew that we had left. They only entered the base this morning,” he said on Thursday.

That day, there were around 450 Myanmar army troops seen around the township, with most appearing to be searching for the resistance fighters on the run. It signified an increase from the estimated 300 soldiers who had been occupying police stations, schools and education offices in Kanpetlet prior to the arrival of reinforcement troops in early March.

In the week before the attack on the CDF-Kanpetlet base, the 200-man junta column had fought with the group three times in the area. Some five soldiers were killed and two members of the resistance injured, according to the CDF.

A serious clash took place between the forces at an airport under construction in Kanpetlet on March 7, but the CDF said they were outgunned and unable to hold off the junta troops. 

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