Three resistance fighters including the former commander of a local resistance group in Chin State’s Matupi Township have been killed by the Myanmar military regime.
Paaw Tha Ceu, 40, the former commander of the Chinland Defense Force (CDF)-Zotung, and two fighters, Paaw Aung Min Thang and Paw Tha Cin Mang, both 20, were killed and their bodies set on fire by regime forces, the headquarters of the CDF-Zotung confirmed to The Irrawaddy.
Junta troops raided Ram Si Village in Matupi on July 22 and took 30 villagers captive at the village church. Paaw Tha Ceu and the other two were arrested by disguised junta soldiers a day after going to the village to find out what had happened to the detained villagers.
“The villagers didn’t know [the three] had been arrested. The villagers said that when they were released on Wednesday, they saw three charred bodies near the village,” a member of the CDF-Zotung told The Irrawaddy.
The bodies had been reduced to bones, so it was impossible to verify their identities from the remains themselves. However, as partially burnt CDF-Zotung military uniforms and caps were found by the bones, CDF-Zotung officials were satisfied that they could confirm it was their former commander and two fighters who had been killed. Their ashes were collected and given a proper burial on Wednesday, CDF-Zotung leaders said.
The Zotung are a tribe of the Chin ethnic group. Zotung people in Matupi formed the CDF-Zotung in May 2021 with Paaw Tha Ceu acting as commander to fight the military regime. The group marked its anniversary in May this year, at which a new commander was elected.
Paaw Tha Ceu had since returned to his native village, where he continued to engage in revolutionary activities against the regime.