A Chin Christian pastor was shot dead and his wedding ring was looted by Myanmar junta soldiers who cut off the pastor’s finger during an urban clash with civilian resistance forces in Thantlang Township, Chin State on Saturday.
On the day, a six-hour prolonged firefight between junta forces and a combined force of the Chinland Defense Force-Thantlang (CDF-T) and the Chin National Army (CNA) occurred in Thantlang.
The CDF-T claimed that more than 30 junta troops were killed during the firefight with no casualties on the civilian forces’ side. In the afternoon, 19 houses were set ablaze when junta soldiers opened fire randomly into the town with heavy weapons and explosives.
Christian pastor Cung Biak Hum was shot dead by the junta forces when he went outside to help put out the fires caused by the military’s artillery fire.
Following the killing and burning down of the houses in the town, the Chin Baptist Convention (CBC) on Sunday issued a statement condemning the atrocities of junta forces against civilians in Chin State.
“We are deeply hurt and frightened by the killing of the pastor and stripping of a golden ring by cutting off his finger, as well as the looting of other belongings; [a] watch and mobile phone,” the CBC said in a statement.
Most of the residents of Thantlang have reportedly fled the town after seeing the intense violence committed by the junta forces.
Myanmar has seen armed resistance by civilians against the junta in Chin State since late April, after junta forces failed to release detained anti-regime protesters in the mountaintop town of Mindat.
Last week, a combined force of the CDF-T and CNA seized and burned down a military outpost in Lungler Village near the Indian border west of Thantlang.
On Saturday night, at least five people including a child were injured and two houses were burnt to ashes when junta forces randomly opened fire with heavy artillery in residential areas in Hakha, the capital of Chin State.
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