Military suffers major casualties in southern Chin State, resistance force says

The Chinland Defence Force (CDF) chapter in Mindat Township has claimed that over a period of 10 days, they repeatedly ambushed a Myanmar army convoy traveling from Matupi, killing nearly 60 soldiers as of Wednesday. 

There were reportedly two armoured vehicles and more than 70 trucks in the military convoy, which was struck some 13 times by the anti-junta resistance group as they travelled along the 100-mile Mindat-Matupi road in southern Chin State. 

Spokesperson for the CDF-Mindat Yaw Mahn said that they most recently clashed with the military once on Wednesday and twice on Tuesday. 

“They have a lot of vehicles but not too much manpower. We were using explosives and also carrying out ambushes. We literally hunted them down all the way from Milestone 48 to Milestone 14,” Yaw Mahn explained. 

Myanmar Now was unable to independently verify the number of junta casualties along the road reported by the CDF. 

The military council has not released a statement on the clashes. 

Three CDF members were reportedly injured by military shells fired during the fighting, and a 73-year-old member named Neih Ki Yaw was killed. 

The convoy in question was travelling from Pakokku Township in Magway Region and spent one night in Mindat before heading towards Matupi on October 14. They reached the town at the end of the month, then moved forward on foot for two weeks, clearing explosives planted by the CDF. 

On the convoy’s initial trip to Matupi, the Mindat CDF was held back by heavy rains and was only able to carry out two ambushes. 

The increased guerrilla attacks were carried out during the convoy’s return trip. 

“I think they underestimated the CDF-Mindat,” spokesperson Yaw Mahn said. “If only we had enough ammunition, we’d be able to burn more military trucks and overrun their troops.”

Several battles also broke out along the Mindat-Matupi road in April and May.

After the CDF ambushed a military convoy of reinforcement troops heading towards Mindat from Matupi in April, they allowed the soldiers to pass after a brief negotiation. 

The next month, the CDF launched an attack on another convoy travelling along the same route. 

As rumours spread that the junta would be escalating their attacks on northwestern Myanmar under an offensive known as “Operation Anawrahta,” the military sent more reinforcement troops to both northern and southern Chin State. 

While resistance forces in the region are outgunned, their familiarity with the terrain has been an advantage, CDF-Mindat spokesperson Yaw Mahn said. 

“I’m glad that they are launching this so-called Operation Anawrahta, because they are actually walking right into our territory,” he explained. “We rely on the geography so much [in our attacks], as the mountains here are so steep. All of the military’s tanks and shells are almost useless here. It’s hard for them to carry out airstrikes as well.” 

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