Resistance Fighters Inflict Heavy Losses on Junta Forces in Myanmar’s Chin State

By The Irrawaddy 7 June 2021

Around 50 junta soldiers were killed on Sunday as fighting intensified between regime troops and Chin civilian resistance fighters in Mindat, Chin State, prompting the regime to call in air strikes. Resistance fighters also claimed junta forces used chemical weapons during the clashes.

At about 10 a.m. on Sunday, Chinland Defense Force-Mindat fighters launched a defensive action against around 100 military soldiers traveling to raid Phayar Sakhan and other villages in northeastern Mindat.

A spokesperson for Chinland Defense Force-Mindat told The Irrawaddy on Monday that the civilian resistance fighters were later attacked in Mindat by an artillery unit based in Kyaukhtu, Magwe Region, 33 km to the east.

Civilian resistance fighters were also attacked with heavy explosives by junta troops based in Mindat and a nearby village.

In the shootout, around 40 junta soldiers were killed. Two Mindat civilian resistance fighters were killed and six injured.

After losing a large number of soldiers in the shootout, the military regime bombarded the civilian resistance fighters twice using fighter aircraft, according to a statement from the Mindat People’s Administration.

A spokesperson for the Mindat Defense Force said most of their resistance fighters were armed with old-fashioned homemade hunting rifles, and some with homemade single-barrel shotguns. The junta used heavy explosives, artillery, automatic weapons and fighter aircraft.

The spokesperson also claimed that the junta troops used chemical weapons in attacking the civilian resistance fighters, saying some of the military’s explosives contained no shrapnel but left the civilian fighters unconscious or feeling dizzy.

At about 10 a.m. on Sunday, another shootout between military troops and the Mindat Defense Force broke out near Shat Village in northwest Mindat.

The shootout occurred when civilian fighters took defensive action against 80 junta soldiers traveling to conduct raids in villages that are sheltering internally displaced persons from Mindat.

During the shootout, civilian resistance fighters were also attacked by artillery from the military’s Battalion 271 based in the mountaintop town of Mindat.

In the firefight, about 10 junta soldiers were killed. Meanwhile, a civilian resistance fighter was killed and 15 were injured by the junta’s artillery shells.

The shootout continued until Monday morning, a member of the Mindat Defense Force said.

The spokesperson for the Mindat Defense Force said the military regime is committing war crimes against the people as it is using powerful weapons including artillery, explosives, automatic rifles, and aircraft to attack civilian resistance fighters armed with old-fashioned homemade firearms. The spokesperson added that the junta soldiers are using narcotics.

“The international community and Myanmar have already learned what kind of institution the military regime is. There are no words to describe the inferior status and brutality of the junta. So, we will keep fighting them,” the spokesperson said.

Firefights between the military troops and civilian resistance fighters from the Mindat Defense Forces have been occurring continuously since May 12, when a ceasefire agreed in late April broke down.

Due to the firefights, 90 percent of Mindat’s population of 25,000 have fled the town. Most residents are now sheltering at camps opened in villages in the township.

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