Bodies of three civilians killed by junta soldiers found in Chin State

September 29th, 2021  •  Author:   Salai Kwi Awm , Salai Lei Hong and Salai Lei Aung (Kanpetlet Township)  •  3 minute read
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The body of Kwi Awm, 30, seen on Monday (Supplied)  

Two of the bodies had been burned and thrown in a ditch, local resistance fighters said

By Myanmar Now

Chinland Defence Force (CDF) fighters said they found the bodies of three civilians on Monday who were shot dead by junta troops in the conflict-hit town of Kanpetlet, which like most areas of Chin State has been cut off from the internet.

The CDF’s deputy brigade commander said that the bodies belonged to a 30-year-old man from Kyawt Taw village named Kwi Awm and two men from Kan Laung village named Lei Hong, who was 60, and Lei Aung, who was 30.

They were shot and killed at an airport construction site three miles from Kanpetlet, he said.

Lei Hong and Lei Aung’s bodies were burned and thrown into a drainage ditch while Kwi Awm was found with a bullet wound in his head.

“The two from Kan Laung village lived on their farms. They were coming back to the village on motorcycles for personal reasons. I think they were shot on the way,” he said. The two men had fled their village amid recent fighting and had been staying in a camp for displaced people.

“The one from Kyawt Taw village was shot on his way to pick up the ones coming back from the camp,” the deputy brigade commander said.

The bodies were found on Monday after the departure of junta soldiers who had been staying at the airport construction site since last week.

The junta cut off access to the internet in eight of Chin’s nine townships on September 23, leaving only residents of Hakha with access. The military has routinely targeted civilians in Chin amid fighting in recent months. Its internet blackout now makes it more difficult for locals to share evidence of atrocity crimes.

There was a clash between resistance fighters and junta forces the same day the internet was cut, after which junta soldiers stationed themselves at the airport construction site. The CDF then attacked the military units at the site on September 25 and 26, the deputy brigade commander said.

One CDF fighter died and two were injured in the clashes, while several junta soldiers were killed, the CDF said.

Some 200 locals from Ye Laung Pan and Kan Laung villages have been trying to travel to a nearby camp for shelter from the fighting, but have had to take refuge in other villages because the way is blocked by military units.

On Saturday junta soldiers detained six displaced people, including a mother and her infant child, as they travelled back to their village of Ahnyarkatin in the nearby Magway Region’s Saw Township, the anti-junta Kanpetlet People’s Administration Team said. The six were released the following day.

Armed resistance fighters in Chin, as well as in neighbouring Magway and Sagaing regions, have made efforts to step up attacks against junta targets since September 7, when the underground National Unity Government (NUG) declared a “resistance war”.

The CDF in Kanpetlet is still using single-shot traditional rifles to fight, a spokesperson said.

“Because the muskets are weather dependent, we’ve had multiple occasions where we had to retreat despite having the geographical advantage because of bad weather,” he said. “So it would help a lot if the NUG would provide us with more weapons as soon as possible.”

Original Post: Myanmar Now