Chin Resistance: Myanmar Junta Trying to Retake Thantlang
By Hein Htoo Zan 18 February 2023
Myanmar’s junta is attempting to seize back Thantlang with daily airstrikes, according to the Chin National Army (CNA), the armed wing of the Chin National Front (CNF).
“Since we seized the town’s police station jets have dropped bombs every day,” said Salai Htet Ni, the CNF’s spokesman.
He said at least 20 bombs were dropped by two jet fighters and also attacked with Mi-35 helicopters on Thursday. Two resistance fighters were killed and four injured, the spokesman said.
However, he said junta troops could not attack the town on the ground and CNA troops were in control of the town.
The junta declared martial law in 37 townships, including seven Chin State townships, on February 2.
On the evening of February 9, the CNA and resistance allies attacked Thantlang’s police station where soldiers and police were based. At least four junta troops were killed and 40 weapons seized, according to the CNA.
Junta troops have been shelling Thantlang from bases in Hakha, according to resistance groups.
An estimated 60 Infantry Battalion 269 and 222 troops from Tedim Township in Chin State and Homalin Township in Sagaing Region reportedly hold a hill on the outskirts of the township.
“The military is no longer able to send reinforcements from Hakha and other places. We have cut supply routes to Thantlang. We have no plan to retreat though they are launching airstrikes every day,” Salai Htet Ni said.
Amid heavy arson attacks, shelling and airstrikes, Thantlang’s population of around 10,000 left the town. The town has since become a frontline between junta troops and the CNA and its resistance allies.
Regime forces last year burned down almost all of Thantlang’s houses and more than 30 religious buildings.