Chin resistance forces capture six, including an army lieutenant, in Thantlang ambush

Six junta personnel, including an army lieutenant, were captured by resistance forces in the northern Chin State town of Thantlang on Wednesday, according to one of the groups involved.

The two soldiers and four policemen were ambushed in downtown Thantlang and taken without a fight, said Salai Htet Ni, a spokesperson for the Chin National Front (CNF).

“We ambushed them in the early morning. There was no clash, as we took them by surprise. One of the captured soldiers is a lieutenant, who we assume was acting as their squadron commander,” he said.

Eight weapons—seven rifles and a pistol—were also seized, he added.

Guns seized by Chin resistance forces in Thantlang on February 1 (CDF)

The ambush was carried out by members of the Chinland Defence Force (CDF) and the CNF’s armed wing, the Chin National Army (CNA).

According to Salai Htet Ni, a junta fighter jet carried out air attacks at around 10pm on Wednesday in response to the capture of the junta troops.

“They fired non-stop. They didn’t know where we were, but they kept firing anywhere they thought we might be,” he said, adding that there were no casualties from the airstrikes.

Thantlang has been largely deserted since late 2021, when it became the target of a massive military operation aimed at driving out resistance forces.

More than a quarter of the town of around 8,00 inhabitants—located about 35km west of the state capital Hakha at an altitude of more than 1,500m above sea level—was destroyed in that offensive.

At present, it is occupied by both resistance and regime forces, according to Salai Htet Ni.

“We occupy around two-thirds of Thantlang, and they have control of the area around the military base and the police station,” he said, adding that Wednesday’s ambush was the first carried out by anti-regime fighters in the town.

According to a statement released by the CDF, resistance forces recently fired on a military helicopter transporting supplies and reinforcements into the town.

Early last month, the junta carried out two days of airstrikes on the CNF’s headquarters, located near Chin State’s border with India. Five CNA troops were killed and several buildings, including a clinic, were destroyed.

Editor’s Note: This article previously identified the captured army officer’s rank as major. It has been corrected to show that he is a lieutenant.

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