Burma Army Bombs and Burns Villagers’ Homes in Chin State: December 2022-January 2023 Report
11 August 2023
Chin State, Burma
December and January were difficult periods for Chin State with a spike in Burma Army activity, including: village burnings, civilian deaths, artillery fire, and airstrikes on both military and civilian targets. Activity was concentrated mostly in the areas of Kalaymyo (Kale) Township in Sagaing Division, Thantlang and Mindat townships, and Camp Victoria, which is the Chin National Front (CNF) and Chin National Army (CNA) headquarters and largest military base, housing about 1,200 military personnel. At Camp Victoria, several waves of jets dropped at least eight bombs, causing widespread damage across the large camp and killing four CNA soldiers. Thousands of people from the villages surrounding Kalaymyo have been displaced by village burnings and indiscriminate artillery fire. The residents of Thantlang and Mindat townships have been victimized by constant artillery fire and airstrikes. This resulted in a new surge of internally displaced people from these areas fleeing to other parts of Burma or across the India border to Mizoram and Manipur states.
On 12 December 2022 the Burma Army entered Natchaung Village in the Kalay Township of the Sagaing Division and arrested a number of people who were unable to escape. The Burma Army fired guns and burned about 20 houses down. The villagers that were able to flee went to Letpanchaung Village, adding to the roughly 3,000 people who have now fled to Letpanchaung Village from surrounding villages, including Natchaung Village, northern Tayagone Village, Pinlone Village, and Pyidawta Village.
On 5 January 2023 through 6 January 2023, the Burma Army burned down 70 houses in Sekant Village in the Kalay Township of the Sagaing Division. In that same time a Burma Army fighter jet bombed around the Thantlang town area. This was in retaliation for the Chin Defense Force (CDF) fighting against the Burma Army and forcing three Burma Army soldiers to surrender to them.
Also on 6 January 2023, a Burma Army soldier defected and surrendered to the CDF-Zophai with a weapon and they accepted him.
On 10 January 2023, the Burma Army bombed Camp Victoria at least eight times. Many of the camp buildings were destroyed and five people were killed.
On 11 January 2023, the Burma Army dropped three bombs in Camp Victoria; there were no casualties.
On 21 January 2023, Burma Army fighter jets, without provocation, bombed Suntaung Village in Mindat Township. Two people were injured and a number of houses were destroyed.
On 23 January 2023, the Burma Army bombed the monastery in Paleikhtwi Village which had been acting as the temporary office of the local refugee committee and sheltering already displaced people. Many people were injured and most of the property was destroyed. Two homes were also destroyed in the bombing. On the same day, the Burma Army also shelled nearby Mindat General Hospital depriving the injured of adequate medical treatment.
On 31 January 2023, a clinic was started in the Zanniat area.
Thank you and God bless you,
Free Burma Rangers