Thousands Flee Myanmar Town After Military Clashes with Rebels

Nearly all the 8,000 residents of a town in western Myanmar have fled after intense clashes between the military and civilian resistance forces over the weekend, according to residents and local media.

“Now, nearly 100 percent of the residents have fled. Only those government employees who do not participate in the Civil Disobedience Movement and the army troops remain in the town,” a Thantlang resident, who requested to remain anonymous, told Myanmar Now.

In a report by The Irrawaddy, the Thantlang Placement Affairs Committee (TPAC) said that pastors and senior citizens are also among the few dozen people who remain in the town.

Some of those who fled are believed to have crossed the Indian border.

The Irrawaddy also reported that military forces injured four civilians after randomly opening fire with heavy explosives.

Over 30 military troops died during a shootout with anti-junta Chinland Defense Force and the Chin National Army, local media reported.

The Chinland Post uploaded photos showing burning houses last weekend. It reported that the buildings were set on fire due to military shelling.

“There were between 90 and 100 troops marching on both sides of the street and shooting at houses,” TPAC Spokesperson Salai Lian told Myanmar Now.

According to the local media, the military fatally shot Christian pastor Cung Biak Hum, who was helping put out the fires, and looted his belongings, including his wedding ring and mobile phone.

United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews said on Sept. 22 that he will inform the UN Human Rights Council that the military junta has escalated its attacks on the people of Myanmar.

“Complacency and inaction should not be acceptable options,” Andrews said.

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