Resistance group Chinland Defense Force-Mindat (CDF-Mindat) said it ambushed a junta convoy returning from Matupi in Chin State on Wednesday, inflicting heavy casualties.
Twelve junta soldiers were killed and dozens were injured when two columns of CDF-Mindat attacked the convoy while it traveled the Matupi-Mindat Road.
The convoy consisted of over 70 vehicles. One CDF column attacked from the front and another column attacked from the rear, said a leader of CDF-Mindat.
One CDF-Mindat member died in an accidental mine explosion after the ambush.
Wednesday’s clash was the second attack on the convoy by CDF-Mindat since April 30, when it was ambushed while returning from Matupi. CDF-Matupi also reportedly ambushed the convoy on April 27.
A CDF-Mindat commander told The Irrawaddy: “The junta convoy comprises 73 vehicles including tanks and around 300 troops. We don’t target the vehicles. We mainly attack the vanguard and rearguard. About our report of junta casualties, we have seen with our own eyes that they were dead. There might be more casualties who died in mine attacks.”
Over 1,000 ethnic Chin villagers living near the Matupi-Mindat Road have fled into the forest due to junta raids, according to Mindat residents.
“It has become a routine of the regime to torch villages. The villagers fled before junta troops arrived in their villages. They might still be in the forest. The regime has cut off phone services there. And we [people in towns] can’t go there as the regime is using that road,” said a Mindat resident.
The twisting mountain road linking Mindat and Matupi stretches for 102 miles and, because of resistance group ambushes along the road, the junta convoy took over ten days to advance to Matupi.
The military regime convoy came to Matupi in March from Magwe Region as reinforcements, and has been targeted by resistance fighters a number of times.
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