Regime soldiers ‘disguised themselves as civilians fleeing their homes’ to ambush Chin resistance fighters 

Regime soldiers allegedly disguised themselves as civilians fleeing their homes while others pretended to surrender during ambushes against local resistance fighters in Chin State in recent days.  

Fighting resumed between the Chinland Defense Force (CDF) and the military in villages near Mindat just under a week after the regime seized the town by sending helicopters full of reinforcements.

About 100 regime soldiers stationed themselves outside of Htin Chaung village, nearly 20km east of Mindat, on Friday and fighting broke out the next morning, the Mindat People’s Administration Team said. 

A spokesperson for the team, which as the civilian arm of the local resistance movement oversees the CDF, said Tatmadaw soldiers tricked CDF fighters by pretending to surrender. 

The regime soldiers laid down their weapons and walked towards the CDF fighters with their hands raised, he said, but then another group of soldiers behind those pretending to surrender started shooting.

“The soldiers walked towards us raising their hands, like they were signaling surrender,” he said. “Our fighters could have shot at them. All of them would have died if we had. But we are not a murderous force.”

One resistance fighter was shot in the chest and wounded critically during the attack, he added.

Soldiers also reportedly used underhand tactics on Friday in Pu Kun village, about 16km south of Mindat. They donned civilian clothes, covered themselves with tarpaulin sheets and pretended to be Mindat residents fleeing the town, the Mindat People’s Administration Team said on Facebook.

When they got close to the resistance fighters they began shooting, the statement said. One CDF fighter was killed and nine others injured during that clash, while at least five regime soldiers were killed and several were injured, it added. 

Myanmar Now was unable to verify this information independently.

The clash lasted nearly four hours and soldiers used rocket launchers and automatic weapons, the statement said.

“There was heavy rain here last night so our Tumi guns wouldn’t shoot,” the spokesperson said on Saturday, referring to traditional hunting rifles. “Their side also suffered several casualties and retreated for a bit.”

Because of the clashes near Pu Kun, displaced locals who had fled fighting in Mindat had to flee again into the forest under heavy rain, according to a local source who is helping displaced civilians.

A six-day-old baby who was among the displaced died on Saturday morning after having trouble breathing, the source said. 

“All we can do now is defend; we can’t continue fleeing anymore,” the spokesperson for the local administration team said. “If we do, we’ll have to go deeper into the forest and large numbers of people could die because the rainy season is about to start.”

About 10,000 people fled Mindat as the regime launched an all-out offensive there in a bid to crush the uprising. 

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