New fighting breaks out in Chin State’s Thantlang

The Chinland Defence Force (CDF) ambushed Myanmar army troops on patrol in the largely deserted town of Thantlang, Chin State, on Monday.

A spokesperson for the CDF-Thantlang said that their members “intercepted and attacked” a 40-soldier unit that morning on a local road.

A junta base on a nearby hill provided cover for their troops by firing heavy artillery at the resistance fighters, but no local houses were hit, according to the CDF spokesperson.

The number of casualties was not known at the time of reporting.

One of the estimated 30 remaining Thantlang residents told Myanmar Now that he heard gunfire being exchanged for around half an hour.

“We are all hiding in fear. I don’t know what happened because I haven’t dared to go outside,” he said.

Those who have stayed behind in the town, which previously had a population of 8,000, are from two households in Thantlang or sheltering in an orphanage.

Around 200 junta troops were still stationed in Thantlang at the time of reporting, positioned advantageously on a hill overseeing the town.

On September 18, a joint force of fighters belonging to the CDF-Thantlang and the Chin National Army attacked a junta base in Thantlang, reportedly killing around 30 soldiers.

In retaliation, the military opened fire on the town, destroying 18 homes and a government building, shooting a pastor dead, and forcing almost all of Thantlang’s residents to flee.

On September 9, the CDF-Thantlang attacked junta soldiers who were inspecting overnight guest lists in the town, killing two soldiers and reportedly destroying one home.

Since fighting intensified in Chin State in June, more than 10,000 residents of Thantlang Township have fled to villages along the India-Myanmar border or to India’s Mizoram state.

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