Five killed in junta airstrike on Chin resistance force headquarters near Myanmar-India border 

The Myanmar military bombed the headquarters of the Chin National Front/Army (CNF/A), known as Camp Victoria, in western Myanmar’s Chin State on Tuesday, killing five members of the resistance group. 

At around 4pm, three Yak-130 and two MiG-29 fighter jets struck the site near the India-Myanmar border at least five times using highly explosive bombs, one of which reportedly landed on Indian soil and attracted the attention of the country’s armed forces.  

The attack on Camp Victoria followed the November leak of the Myanmar air force’s confidential list of targets, one of which was the ethnic armed organisation’s primary base, CNF spokesperson Salai Htet Ni told Myanmar Now. 

“They had pinpointed 14 targets for an air raid on the CNF headquarters…,” he said. “We can see that they dropped the bombs on the preselected targets, but our most important buildings were not affected.”

The casualties included lieutenants Ngun Hlei Par and Van Ro Piang, officers Sui Len Par and Kil Mang, and private Duh Tin. 

On Wednesday, three military aircraft again targeted Camp Victoria in an airstrike at around 4:50pm, according to CNA’s information team. Further details about the second attack are still unclear at the time of reporting.

Buildings at Camp Victoria destroyed in the airstrike on 10 January, as reported in local media (Supplied)

The military council recently announced a temporary truce with the country’s ethnic armed organisations until the end of 2023, which the Interim Chin National Consultative Council dismissed as a lie in a Tuesday night statement condemning the aerial assault earlier that day.

A spokesperson for another anti-junta armed group active in the region, the Chinland Defence Force, said that the airstrikes would not “hinder [their] plans for the revolution.”

Shops in the Chin State capital of Hakha were reportedly closed on Wednesday in protest of the raids on the CNF base. Regime soldiers responded by demanding that they conduct business as usual, a town resident said. 

“Junta soldiers [in cars] stopped in front of the shops and at intersections, and they shouted to open the shops,” he told Myanmar Now, adding that some of the shop owners opened their doors “a crack” or “halfway” to appease the troops. 

CNF spokesperson Salai Htet Ni pointed out that while his organisation did not have access to anti-aircraft weapons, they would continue to “respond as best we can, within our capabilities.”

“It doesn’t matter what strategy or technology the military council uses to attack us. The people are always on our side, and that is the driving force for us,” he explained. 

Two military aircraft also bombed a frontline base of the CNF/A around six miles from Hakha on November 7 last year. 

The CNF was founded in 1988 and later signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement with the now ousted National League for Democracy government and the military. The group opposed the 2021 military coup and offered combat training at Camp Victoria to youth who were willing to take up arms against the junta.

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