After fierce gunfight in Myanmar, 41 soldiers enter Mizoram, held and sent back to country

Security forces in Mizoram arrested at least 41 Myanmar military personnel for “illegally crossing the border” into India, police officials said on Tuesday adding that 39 of the soldiers were sent back to their country.

A senior Mizoram Police official, citing reports from across the border said that People’s Defence Force (PDF) attacked a Myanmar Army post in Chin state and then on Monday evening, 39 army personnel entered Mizoram and the state police arrested them.

The detained Myanmar soldiers were handed over to Assam Rifles following instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The police official said that on Tuesday morning, the police apprehended two more injured Myanmar army personnels and they are admitted in the Champai civil hospital.

Defence sources said that the Myanmar military personnel, who had crossed over to Zokhawthar in Mizoram’s Champhai district were later flown by a helicopter to Myanmar’s Tamu opposite to Moreh in Manipur.

The situation along the India-Myanmar border with Mizoram is calm and there is no more commotion, the police official said adding: “We do not know if the Myanmar army would attack from the air, as an airstrike cannot be ruled out.”

A Mizoram government official said that on Monday, Myanmar Army jet fighters dropped two bombs near Rihkhawdar village, just four kilometers from Mizoram’s Zokhawthar village.

Meanwhile, around 1,400 Myanmarese, including women and children, took shelter in eastern Mizoram’s Champhai district during the past 48 hours following the gun battle between the Army and civilian outfits in their homeland, officials said on Tuesday.

Indian officials said that the massive gunfight between Myanmar’s Tatmadaw (military) and pro-democratic force PDF have been going on for the past several days causing the fresh influx of refugees from the neighbouring country.

Champhai district’s District Organiser V.L. Hruaimawia said that on Monday around 1,400 men, women and children fled from the Chin region of Myanmar and took shelter in the district. “The district administration has provided food and relief materials to the refugees. Necessary medical aid was also given to those hapless evacuees,” Hruaimawia told IANS over phone from Champhai.

He said that with the fresh arrival of refugees, the number of refugees from Myanmar taking shelter only in Champhai rose to 7,004, adding that the newly-arrived Myanmar nationals may return to their country after the situation normalises.

Media reports said that the intense fighting between the Army and the PDF started after the latter attacked military bases at Khawmawi and Rihkhawdar in Chin state near the Indian border. According to the media report, the PDF has taken over the Myanmar military base at Rihkhawdar on Monday. Around seven people were reportedly killed and 20 others injured in the gunfight.

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