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Eight junta soldiers killed in clashes with local resistance in southern Chin State

At least eight Myanmar military soldiers were killed in two consecutive days of clashes in villages near Mindat and Kanpetlet in southern Chin State, the Chinland Defence Forces (CDF) announced.

The military entered Makyar, Khwal Lon Thar and Hlayt Sone villages leading clashes to break out on May 29.

Members of the CDF in Mindat and Kanpetlet have joined forces to fight against the occupying Myanmar army in the areas.

The CDF—whose members are mostly ethnic Chin people from the nine townships in Chin State as well as areas outside the state—was formed in April amid crackdowns on anti-coup protesters.

On May 29, around 150 regime soldiers coming from Saw Township in neighbouring Magwe Region entered Chin State, and clashes with CDF troops took place near Khwal Lon Thar and Makyar villages.

“There were reinforcements in Saw Township. After they set up camp, they arrested locals and forced them to work as guides. And when they came to where our IDP [internally displaced persons] camps are, they met our security teams head on. We don’t know why they came,” said a member of the Mindat Township People’s Administration Team.

More clashes followed, and on Saturday the military council opened fire on an IDP camp in Aye Sakhan village, where a white flag had been raised to deter armed conflict, according to the Mindat CDF.

“All of the villagers and IDPs had to leave everything and flee. They didn’t even have time to observe the situation or what was happening. They all had to run,” a spokesperson from the Mindat People’s Administration Team told Myanmar Now.

The military council’s armed forces used shoulder-fired missiles and machine guns in their attacks while the local resistance forces defended themselves using traditional hunting rifles.

In the shootouts in villages along the Mindat and Kanpetlet township border, one CDF member was killed and around 10 were reportedly injured.

After the military imposed martial law on Mindat in mid-May, around 90 percent of the township’s population fled their homes.

Even as villages housing the IDPs are targeted in the junta’s offensives, the military council continues to label those who defend themselves against its armed forces as “terrorists.”

 

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