Entire population of Chin village sheltering along Indian border, in need of aid  

The entire 900-strong population of Lungler village in Chin State’s Thantlang Township is sheltering along the Indian border after residents fled their homes last week ahead of an attack by resistance forces against a military outpost, an aid worker has said. 

The displaced include elderly people and children and are in urgent need of supplies, said Aung, who is helping the villagers and asked to be referred to by one name for security reasons. 

“We need a lot of help,” he told Myanmar Now. “We’re in need of both food and medicine.”

The villagers fled a few days before a coalition of fighters from the Chin National Army (CNA) and the Chinland Defence Force (CDF) raided a junta outpost just outside Lungler, killing 12 soldiers and seizing weapons before burning the base down.

Some made their way to other villages on motorcycles and others went on foot, the aid worker said. Around 800 are staying in monasteries and farms on the Myanmar side of the border, in villages including Ralpel and Zaantlang, while another 140 have made their way to Mizoram in India, he added. 

An Indian official told local media last week that there are now over 700 refugees from Chin staying in Mizoram’s Hnahthial district.

Before Lungler’s residents fled, there were some 2,000 displaced people in Thantlang Township, according to Salai Lian, an officer with the Thantlang Placement Affairs Committee, a local charity.

Junta spokesperson Zaw Min Tun told The Irrawaddy on Monday that the military could not confirm if the Lungler base had been completely taken over.

The displaced people have no plans to return to Lungler yet as they fear there will be more fighting; the military appears to be preparing for an attack in the area, Aung said.

A spokesperson for the CDF in Thantlang said that 80 junta troops had arrived in Thantlang as reinforcements from the town of Hakha and that there were now around 200 troops staying in the town of Thantlang.

“There aren’t any battles yet but we need to stay vigilant as the troops in Thantlang are planning something,” he said.

A military jet has been hovering over the captured Lungler base everyday and appears to be inspecting the area, he said. 

Before seizing the base on Saturday, CDF fighters killed two junta soldiers who had been conducting security checks in Thantlang on September 9. Four civilians were injured when junta soldiers returned fire, the CDF said. 

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