Truck Blown, People Crossing Border: Panic in Mizoram After Myanmar Air Strikes, 2 Bombs Enter India

Last Updated: January 12, 2023, 12:17 IST

File image of Farkawan village near India-Myanmar border, in Mizoram. (Reuters)

Myanmar strikes: The residents of Mizoram’s Farkawn village, located close to Myanmar border, panicked when they heard sounds of the bombing

Fear has gripped Mizoram’s Champhai district, which is close to Myanmar’s key rebel camp that was bombarded by the country’s military. The residents of Mizoram’s Farkawn village, located close to Myanmar border, panicked when they heard sounds of the bombing.

According to a report in Indian Express, people working on the Indian side of the river Tiau, which demarcates the international boundary, fled to their homes in the village. Residents of Farkawn saw Assam Rifles personnel inspecting the area. Local activists said the shell landed 30 metres from the river bank on the Indian side.

International publication, The Guardian, too stated that jets dropped at least two bombs inside Indian territory as Myanmar military launched an airstrike on a prominent training camp for pro-democracy forces close to the Indian border.

Quoting a rebel commander, The Guardian said that the Myanmar junta, who seized power in a coup in February 2021 and are engaged in a bloody battle to crush pro-democracy insurgents, began bombing Camp Victoria in Myanmar’s Chin state, on Tuesday afternoon.

Camp Victoria serves as the headquarters of Chin National Army (CNA), an ethnic armed group which is fighting alongside other rebel groups to restore democracy in Myanmar, under the banner of People’s Defence Force (PDF). The training camp is located just a few kilometres from the border with Mizoram.

The report quoted Rama, president of Farkawan village council, who uses a single name, said that the bombings caused “panic” in their village and they feared more strikes violated the border areas.

Indian Express quoted a Mizoram government official based in Champhai district, in which Farkawn is located, as saying a state-registered truck on the Indian side of the border was damaged in the strikes. The official said they were “keeping a close watch” on the area but that there had been no “immediate significant” impact.

“A truck from our side was damaged by one bomb, which was parked near Tiau river. Some people from Myanmar side have crossed over the border after the bombing and people in our village are helping them and the injured. We could see that the bombing was carried out by three fighter jets and two helicopters,” president of Farkawan village council was quoted as saying.

The IE report stated that at least 5 persons from the Myanmarese side crossed over Wednesday morning. A Young Mizo Association (YMA) representative, who lives close to Farkawn and visited the area Wednesday, said there was an “atmosphere of fear and tension” among the villagers. “Farkawn people are frightened… No one is going to work near the border,” Mc Lalramenga, president of the local YMA chapter, was quoted.

In Myanmar, seven rebel fighters were killed, including one woman, in the aerial bombings and over 20 people in Camp Victoria were injured, The Guardian quoted rebel commander as saying. He identified the slain rebels as Salai Van Ro Piang, Salai Duh Tin, Mai Ngun Hlei Par, Mai Sui Len Par and Salai Kil Mang.

Aerial strikes have become a common tactic used by the junta, particularly in areas held by ethnic rebels forces, as they continue a ruthless campaign of violence to consolidate their power. In October, at least 80 people, mostly civilians, were killed when the military launched an airstrike on a concert in Kachin state, in northern Myanmar.

It is the first time that Camp Victoria in Chin has been targeted with aerial bombings by the junta. The rebel commanders said they were not anticipating an aerial strike because of the camp’s close proximity to the Indian border.

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