Aizawl: Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters evacuated 42 Myanmar army personnel from the Mizoram-Myanmar border village of Hnahlan in Champhai district on Tuesday, a day after the soldiers took shelter in India following clashes with militants, sources said.
According to the village council president, the soldiers, who fled after the Kachin Independent Army (KIA), Chin National Army (CNA), and the Chin Defence Force (CDF) captured a Myanmar army camp, were brought to the village by Assam Rifles trucks before being airlifted. Sources suggest they may be headed to Dimapur in Nagaland.
Earlier, the combined forces of KIA, CNA, and CDF overran Tatmadaw (as the Myanmarese military is called) camps in Myanmar’s Chin state, forcing the soldiers to seek refuge in Mizoram. The Zokhawthar Police Station detained 39 soldiers on Monday night, with three more arriving on Tuesday.
Lalbiakthanga Khiangte, IGP (Hqrs.) of the state Police, revealed that the Ministry of Home Affairs instructed the state government to hand over the Tatmadaw personnel to Assam Rifles, responsible for guarding the 404-km-long Myanmar-India border.
“It is most likely that the Ministry of External Affairs will make arrangements to hand over the Myanmar army personnel to the Myanmar military government through the Assam Rifles,” a senior police official said.
The KIA, CNA, and CDF’s coordinated attack on Khawmawi and Rihkhawdar camps resulted in casualties on both sides. A civilian refugee in Mizoram and seven armed militants lost their lives. Twenty-one people, including a civilian on the Indian side, sustained injuries. Seven of them were referred to Aizawl for treatment.
Despite the Myanmar air force’s attempts, warplanes and helicopters failed to rescue the surrounded military personnel. The situation remains fluid, with concerns rising about the escalating conflict’s impact on the region. UNI