Fighting escalates in southern Chin as buildup of junta troops continues 

Fighting between resistance groups and the junta has escalated in southern Chin State in recent days, with the Chinland Defence Force (CDF) reporting that it killed 37 soldiers in various ambushes.

The Matupi branch of the CDF said this week that on October 30 its fighters killed 20 soldiers and injured another 10 using landmines on the road running between Matupi and the town of Paletwa. 

On Wednesday morning the group’s Mindat branch killed another ten soldiers on the road leading west from Mindat towards Matupi, the CDF said. A 73-year-old CDF fighter was killed in the clash and two of his comrades were injured, it added. 

Another two soldiers died when the CDF attacked the same convoy in the evening, spokesperson Yaw Man said. 

The military has sent large numbers of troops into Chin State via two separate routes in a bid to pacify the area, prompting more guerrilla-style ambushes by resistance fighters that have led to heavy casualties on the junta’s side. 

On Thursday in Kyindwe, a town that lies to the south of Mindat and Matupi, CDF fighters killed five junta soldiers during a three-hour long clash that started when the soldiers entered the CDF-controlled neighbourhood of Hpone Twi Kyin on motorbikes. 

Several other soldiers were injured and there were no casualties on the CDF’s side, the group said. 

Back near Mindat on Thursday, the CDF said it once again used landmines at around 8am to attack members of the 274th Infantry Battalion at several points along the road to Matupi. The military responded by firing shells, the group said. 

“A lot of landmines went off between milestones six and nine,” said Yaw Man. “There were a lot of casualties on the military’s side but I don’t think there were any deaths. We had no casualties on our side.”    

Later in the evening, the CDF fighters went on to surround the same military convoy they had attacked the day before. The convoy had two tanks and 75 vehicles and was heading towards Mindat, Yaw Man said. 

The CDF opened fire and a clash ensued, he said, but was unable to give further details. “We haven’t gotten any intel regarding the clash in the evening. I called them but I only heard gunshots.” 

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