Bangkok, Nov 6 (EFE).- At least 37 soldiers have been killed in clashes with a civilian militia amid an escalation of violence in northwest Myanmar’s Chin state, according to local media reports.
The Chinland Defense Force (CDF), a civilian militia formed after the military coup on Feb. 1, claimed responsibility for the deaths, which occurred in several ambushes in recent days, the Myanmar Now newspaper reported late Friday.
On Wednesday, the militia killed 20 soldiers and wounded another 10 using landmines near the town of Matupi.
The group also killed another 10 soldiers near Mindat during a clash, in which a 73-year-old CDF fighter was killed.
On Thursday, five more soldiers were killed during a three-hour clash in the town of Kyindwe, located south of Mindat and Matupi.
These casualties have occurred in the same region where the military has torched more than 400 homes in the last month.
The state has been at the forefront of some of the strongest resistance to the Myanmar military, with two active civilian militias.
More than 500 civil organizations from Myanmar and other countries signed a petition on Friday calling for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council amid “escalating attacks” by the Myanmar Army in Chin state.
The signatories said that, on Oct. 29, the Myanmar military began shelling the town of Thantlang in Chin state, setting fire to 200 houses and at least two churches.
“The junta has continued its violent assault throughout Myanmar, recently deployed troops and increased its attacks against civilians in Chin State, Sagaing and Magwe Regions in north-western Myanmar, while continuing its attacks in Karenni, Karen and Shan States,” the organizations said.
On Sep. 7, the self-designated National Unity Government – formed by leaders and activists close to ousted leader Aun San Suu Kyi – had declared a “defensive war” against the Myanmar military.
In the nine months after the coup, at least 1,242 people have been killed in the repression unleased by the security forces, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
The Myanmar junta justifies the coup citing alleged electoral fraud in the now annulled election results in which Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory. EFE