Conflicts & War

Myanmar rebel troops seize border post with India

Bangkok, Nov 16 (EFE).- An ethnic militia opposed to the Myanmar military junta claimed to have taken a border checkpoint with India, after several days of intense fighting in the northwest of the country and in another victory for rebel forces against the military.

The Chin People’s Defense Force, active in Chin state and representing the same ethnic group, said it had wrested control over Rikhawdar from military forces, a small mountain town that maintains a border post with India.

According to the armed rebel group, which collaborates with the Chin National Front guerrillas, the flag representing the ethnic group has been flying since Monday at the border post, according to a statement published Wednesday.

The force also claimed that during the clashes they killed about 40 soldiers, while an undetermined number fled to India, and they took control of three other army camps.

The offensive in northwest Myanmar comes amid the operation launched in late October by a powerful alliance of three guerrillas, known as the Brotherhood Alliance, which represents one of the greatest challenges for the Myanmar military junta since the February 2021 coup.

The alliance began its coordinated operation, named “1027” in reference to Oct. 27, in the northeast of Shan state, where the rebels claim to have taken control of several border posts with China and more than a hundred security posts.

The fighting has since spread to other regions such as Rakhine, Sagaing, Magway or Kayah, while other ethnic guerrillas and armed groups opposed to the military have joined.

One of the points where fierce fighting is currently taking place between rebels and soldiers of the military junta is in the city of Loikaw, where the rebel guerrilla Karenni Defense Force said it wrested control of a dozen security posts from the military.

Loikaw, with about 11,000 inhabitants, is the capital of the Kayah state. If it falls into the hands of the rebels, it would be the first provincial capital the military would lose since the uprising and see their opponents approach just over 200 kilometers away from the country’s capital Naypyidaw, the regime’s stronghold.

At least 90,000 people have been displaced from their homes in the past two weeks due to recent fighting, according to the latest data released by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The 2021 military uprising put an end to a decade of democratic transition in Myanmar and the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, imprisoned since the uprising.

The coup plunged Myanmar into a deep political, social and economic crisis and has opened a spiral of violence that has exacerbated the guerrilla war that the country has been experiencing for decades with the emergence of new anti-junta militias. EFE


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