Conflicts & War

Casualties feared after ethnic guerrilla group attacks Myanmar Army convoy

By Sangzuala Hmar

Aizawl, India, Oct 13 (EFE).- The Chin National Army (CNA), one of the ethnic guerrilla groups resisting the military junta in Myanmar, Wednesday attacked a military convoy in the western Chin region.

The gunbattle took place on the outskirts of Hakha, the capital of the Chin region bordering India.

“We have unconfirmed reports that six Myanmar Army personnel were killed” in the ongoing gunfight, ANC spokesperson Salai Htet told EFE.

“The army was moving towards Thantlang (further west and a stronghold of the Chin resistance) from Hakha. Before they could make advancements, our Tactical Force division stopped them on the outskirts of Hakha town,” Htet said.

The CNA is the armed wing of the Chin National Front (CNF), an ethnic revolutionary group formed in March 1988 to regain the rights of the ethnic Chin people in Myanmar and restore democracy and federalism in the country.

Earlier, the CNF had warned of an imminent attack by the army in the western Chin and Sagaing regions following the deployment of troops and heavy weaponry.

The spokesperson had expressed concerns about a possible military crackdown on the growing civilian resistance to the Tatmadaw or the Myanmar armed forces.

“The army has appointed new commanders. Soon after the appointments there are movements and deployments of heavy weapons. The army is busy reinforcing its bases at Falam and Teddim Township in Chin state,” Htet told EFE late Tuesday.

He alleged that the army killed people, raided villages, and set houses on fire in an apparent backlash against armed resistance elements and their sympathizers.

The heavy military deployment comes after the declaration of “defensive war” in September against the junta by the self-styled National Unity Government, made up of politicians and activists close to the jailed leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

At least 1,167 people have died in violent repression by security forces since the military ousted the democratically elected government led by Suu Kyi on Feb.1, data from the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners showed.

The military has also arrested some 7,220 protesters in the last month of the junta rule.

Chin State had already experienced massive displacements and casualties since early September.

Recently, CNA fighters and the newly formed Chinland Defence Force overran a military outpost at Lungler town, allegedly killing 12 soldiers.

“Our resistance has become a major concern for the Tatmadaw,” said Htet, who also holds the rank of assistant secretary-general of the CNF.

“Our concern is that the Tatmadaw do not hesitate to kill civilians or use them as shields; violations and mass detentions of civilians have stepped up since Sep.7,” Cheu-a, commander at Camp Victoria, told EFE over the phone.

The CNA has over 500 ethnic fighters at its headquarters and over 10,000 across Chin State, Sagaing Division, and Magway regions in western Myanmar.

“Since the coup, the youth have joined us and we have been giving them training. With these Generation Z volunteers, our total numbers have crossed 10,000,” Salai Htet Ni said.

Gen-Z is a critical demographic and includes doctors, nurses, artists, bankers, railroad workers, teachers, LGBTQ activists, trade unions, students, and many other social groups, who have joined the resistance against the army.

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