Allied ethnic forces capture junta-occupied buildings in Myanmar

Rebel forces have been battling the junta in a western township capital since early June.
By RFA Burmese
2024.06.14
Allied ethnic forces capture junta-occupied buildings in Myanmar Matupi town in Chin state.
Zalen

Five ethnic armed groups have joined forces to fight the junta for a township in Myanmar’s west, a group member told Radio Free Asia on Friday. 

Chin Defense Forces, an umbrella term for several allied groups opposing the junta and active in seven of Chin state’s nine townships, captured an administration office and a police station in Matupi township on Tuesday. 

Matupi-based junta Infantry Battalion 304 is using heavy weapons and its air force counterparts, said a member of the Chin Defense Forces. 

“Now, the [township’s] administration office and police station were captured by our forces, but we are monitoring the situation for more airstrikes,” he said, asking to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals. “We’re continuing to attack the junta’s infantry battalion.”

Following clashes over Matupi town in early June, the junta sent reinforcements and tightened the perimeter around the buildings, he added.

Chin Defense Forces Brigade 1 is composed of three allied groups, including Zoland’s People’s Defence Force, Mindat Chin Defense Force and Chin National Defense Force. 

Other rebel armies, including the Rakhine-based Arakan Army and Magway-based Yaw Army, have also teamed to drive the junta out of Matupi, he said. 

He did not disclose the number of casualties for the junta or Chin Defense Forces. 

More than 8,000 people live in Matupi town, but nearly all have fled into nearby villages and India’s Mizoram, which neighbors Chin state, since 2023 when conflict began escalating between ethnic insurgent groups and the junta, residents said. 

RFA phoned Chin state’s junta spokesperson Aung Cho for more information on the Chin Defense Force’s capture, but calls went unanswered.

Joint Chin forces have captured small towns across Chin state, including Thantlang township’s Hnaring village, Hakha township’s Surkhur village, Falam township’s Webula and Rihkhawdar villages, Mindat township’s M’kwiimnu village and Kanpetlet township’s Kyin Dway village.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Kiana Duncan and Taejun Kang. 

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