Massive Gunbattle Between Myanmar Army and Rebel Outfits Near Border

Authorities on High Alert in Mizoram, Hundreds of Refugees Flee to Indian Side for Shelter

Guwahati: In what has alerted authorities in frontier state of Mizoram, a fierce gunbattle has broke out between Myanmar army and rebel outfits across the international border with Myanmar since Sunday evening adjoining Champhai district of Mizoram, forcing hundreds of Myanmar nationals residing close to the border to flee for shelter towards Indian side.

Security sources said, a fierce gunfight started between Myanmar army and cadres of Chinland Defence Force (CDF), an outfit formed in 2021 against the military junta in the neighbouring country on Sunday.

Deputy commissioner of Champhai district James Lalrinchhana told reporters, “Fighting started on Sunday evening. It continued throughout the night and ended early on Monday morning. There are also reports of bombing close to the international border, but there’s no damage on the Indian side.”

He said, “We have rushed a team of magistrate to Zokhawthar, a border town in Champhai to assess the ground situation.”

He did not rule out the possibility of collateral damage on the Indian side following the incident of heavy firing and bombing. He said that officials have been instructed to look into all the aspects.

Security sources keeping watch on incidents in Myanmar said that following the violence, over 1,000 Myanmar nationals, all of them residents of towns and villages close to the border, have crossed to the Indian side.

At least two of them who sustained injuries have been sent to Champhai for treatment.

“We can’t say exactly how many Myanmar nationals have entered India since Sunday. This has been a regular feature for over two years now. Every time there’s fresh violence in Myanmar, citizens of that country enter India for safety. Most of them return when the situation becomes normal,” he said.

When contacted superintendent of police Champhai Vineet Kumar said,“We don’t have any reports of any damage or injury to anyone on the Indian side due to gunfight across the border. We are taking stock of the situation.”

Security sources said that in the last two weeks fighting has intensified in northern Shan state, near the Chinese border in Myanmar.

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