Junta soldiers tasked with providing security for a junta convoy advancing to Chin State’s Matupi torched a hillside village in the town at noon on Wednesday.
The village of Ram Tein near the Mindat-Matupi road was torched by junta troops from the military convoy and their colleagues from Matupi-based Battalion 304 who came down to provide security for the junta convoy, a Chinland Defense Force (CDF) leader told The Irrawaddy.
“There was no clash today. The junta convoy arrived in Ram Tein today. They have combined with Matupi-based troops who came down to escort them. They were torching Ram Tein Village in the afternoon, and the whole village is now on fire,” the CDF leader told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.
The village is home to some 300 Chin people.
One Matupi resident said: “We heard about the fire in Ram Tein. We haven’t been able to leave the town for a long time. Even if we want to travel for health reasons, we have to seek permission from the regime.”
The junta convoy containing more than 80 vehicles and two armored vehicles from Sagaing arrived in Mindat on March 25. It proceeded to Matupi the following day, but it took them 12 days to reach Matupi due to ambushes by Mindat CDF along the 102-mile-long (164-km) road.
Matupi CDF said they ambushed the junta convoy using mines on Tuesday once it crossed the boundary of the town.
Residents of Ram Tein and neighboring villages have fled into the forests for fear of junta raids. The junta convoy reportedly contains troops from Mindat-based Light Infantry Battalion 274 and Division 11.
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