Clashes between junta and local resistance escalate in Kanpetlet, Chin State

Clashes between regime forces and local resistance fighters in southern Chin State’s Kanpetlet Township have intensified for three days, the spokesperson for the Chinland Defence Force (CDF) said on Sunday.

Fighting broke out on Friday in the village of Makyar, around 32 km from Kanpetlet. Since then, local resistance fighters have been carrying out ambushes on the junta’s reinforcement troops near the foot of the famous Mt Victoria, the spokesperson said.

“We have deployed some security forces to protect displaced locals in Makyar. A lot of regime troops marched toward the village and we had a head-on clash,” he told Myanmar Now.

He added that the military has suffered casualties but was unable to provide an exact number. There had been no casualties on the local side, he said. 

The military has made no official announcement acknowledging the fighting in Kanpetlet.

Around 2,000 residents were forced to flee their homes in recent days due to the clashes, a local said. In a statement published on social media, the CDF in Kanpetlet warned anyone in the town who was not a local to leave by Saturday.

“It is strangely quiet in the town now. It is not normal. Only a few shops are open. Around half of the population has left the town,” the local source said.

After people fled their homes, regime forces looted property from their empty houses, locals told Myanmar Now.

Anti-junta resistance fighters in Chin State, armed with homemade weapons such as hunting rifles and explosives, have been using guerrilla tactics to fight the regime forces. The Myanmar military troops have been using heavy weapons such as automatic guns and rocket launchers against the local fighters.

On May 13, local forces had two clashes with regime soldiers outside of a branch of the state-owned Myanma Economic Bank, and again at a police outpost, reportedly injuring two members of the junta’s armed forces. 

Following the battles, tensions between the regime forces and the CDF in Kanpetlet grew.  

Two days later, 12 ethnic Chin police officers in Kanpetlet—including a sergeant and two lance-corporals—defected and joined the local forces against the coup regime. 

Six regime soldiers, including a captain, were killed in an ambush in Falam Township on May 21 in an attack on two military trucks carrying reinforcements on the Falam-Kalay road, according to the CDF members in Falam.

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