Over 1,000 Junta Soldiers Killed in Western Myanmar Last Year: Chin Resistance Forces

By The Irrawaddy 28 January 2022

Almost 1,030 Myanmar military soldiers were killed in firefights with resistance forces in Chin State last year, according to the Chinland Joint Defense Committee.

The committee is comprised of around 16 ethnic Chin People’s Defense Forces (PDF) representing each of the nine townships in the western Myanmar state.

184 clashes between military regime troops and Chin PDFs took place across Chin State, as well as in townships of neighboring Magwe and Sagaing regions, between April 24 and December 31. Other smaller shootouts also occurred.

1,029 regime soldiers and 58 Chin resistance fighters were killed during the battles, while 27 civilians were slain by junta troops, said the committee.

The first clash in Chin State following the coup took place on April 24 when locals armed with traditional and homemade weapons attacked the police station in the mountain-top town of Mindat, after the junta repeatedly refused to release six detained anti-regime protesters.

Since then, Mindat has seen the highest number of clashes – a total of 60 – of anywhere in Chin State, with junta forces suffering heavy losses.

The Myanmar military suffered around 40 deaths alone in one clash in Mindat in early June with the Chin Defense Force-Mindat. The regime had to call on jet fighters and artillery from Kyaukhtu in Magwe Region to help its defeated ground troops in the fighting.

Former army captain Kaung Thu Win, who defected from the military’s northwest command in December, said recently in a discussion that many army officers were investigated and a senior officer was interned by the junta after their detachment suffered heavy losses during a battle in Mindat in May.

A police outpost was burned down after being seized in May by Chin resistance fighters. Photo- Chinland Defense Force

The Chin State capital Hakha was the second most restive area in Chin State, reporting a total of 25 clashes in the last nine months, followed by Falam Township with 19 incidents.

Most of the state, with the exception of a few towns, is under the control of Chin resistance forces, according to an official of the Chinland Joint Defense Committee.

He said regime administration officers have to hold meetings in secret, even in Hakha, to avoid being attacked.

The official added that Chin PDFs are also deployed outside Chin State in townships in Magwe and Sagaing regions where ethnic Chin people live.

In an effort to take control of the state, the military regime is now deploying large numbers of troops and weapons in three columns into Chin State via routes from Paletwa, near the border with Bangladesh, and Magwe and Sagaing regions.

Between January 12 and 22, fierce clashes between regime soldiers and a combined force of nine resistance groups broke out near Hiangzing Village in Chin State’s Tedim Township.

At least 80 junta soldiers and three resistance fighters were killed in the fighting, which saw the regime employing air and artillery strikes, and another nine resistance fighters were wounded, the Zomi Federal Union said on Monday.

The military regime is now facing daily attacks from PDFs and ethnic armed groups nationwide, with the exception of Rakhine State, which is largely under the control of the Arakan Army.

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