Myanmar, Chin Land Defense Force, India discussed on BBC Newshour
We're gonna have to me M are now in the confrontations between the military, which seize power in a coup three now months ago. And its many opponents. After weeks of street protests and the crackdown that followed. Some of those opponents have taken up arms against the military government. Take Chin state in western Mama. Three weeks ago, a group calling itself the Chin Land Defense Force began launching attacks against government soldiers from the town of men that they've now pulled back after reinforcements were sent there, including heavy artillery. When one member of the chin and defense force he didn't want to be named, told us what had been happening today and because of the poor quality of the line. One of our producers has spoken his words. The situation is getting intense, and the situation is getting intense and worse and worse. The terrorist military is attacking civilians and shooting whoever they see on the street. They apply a shoot on sight policy should on sight policy from our side so we don't have any on our side. We don't have new modern weapons. We use a handmade rifle normally used for hunting. Now we use it to protect ourselves and to protect the civilians from the terrorist military organization organization. They call us terrorists. They call us terrorists, but we didn't start this. We protect our cities on. We use various other ways to express our voices expert our voice to you. Yet From yesterday, Most of the civilians in men that have fled to safer places like the borders also are people from the chin Land Defense force had to move to different places. Well, maybe see Southeast Asia correspondent Jonathan had is following developments from Bangkok. He's been telling me how this confrontation between people amend that on the military began this local community essentially community inhabitants of men DATs, a town of fewer than 50,000, people. Essentially announced it was no longer accepting military authority more than three weeks ago, and it confronted the military about number of activists who being detained. There were four days of fighting, which actually met the military's attempts to send in reinforcements on these mountain roads were blocked. They're actually ambushed and we think the number of soldiers were killed. At that point, the local military forces it really didn't feel up to the job actually negotiated and they've been talking for more than a week. Those negotiations went nowhere because the military wouldn't release their detainees. Fighting re started about four days ago. And that's where we saw the military. Bring in troops by helicopter, Bring in heavy artillery on Effectually bombing the town into submission and forcing these volunteer activists who are armed, mostly with homemade hunting rifles to leave the town and melt away into the forests around it. There are obviously justified fears for how the military will treat the population who remained in the town. I mean, everybody's seen how they treat unarmed protesters in mainstream cities, so it's easy to be concerned about how they're treated town, which has an effect rebelled against military authority. This Chinlund defense force. I mean, you say they don't have much in the way it way of weapons. I mean, is it really just a sort of ragtag militia then of activists Hard to know any of the Children Defense Force covers a number of local militias we've seen. I mean the people in men that call themselves the wind at People's Defense Force. It's in this area, though very much in the along chin state in the areas bordering India. Where there is both a tradition of making quite effective local hunting rifles. And they're no match for modern assault rifle, But they could certainly kill someone, and also then the place further north, where they near the border with India. They can. The people who opposed the military can escape across the border. They're also areas where there's enough trafficking and smuggling going on with there may well be access to smuggled modern weapons as well. It's the sort of casualties. This group and Mendez talked about that and they may be exaggerating, but they've talked about killing dozens of soldiers. You couldn't do that. Just with hunting rifles. So you know, I guess is that they have got access to some modern weapons. We've been told that there are maybe a couple of dozen You know, modern weapons They've got hold off. I think it's just that in the determination of the local population to resist, which is made life so difficult for the armed forces and Min Dat, and of course, the specter it raises now is if this is repeated Many more towns across Myanmar, then the army which is very strong on well and will have a problem, it will be overstretched. It'll have to try to get reinforcements in as it did him in that, finding it very difficult by road trying to use helicopters. This could be a real problem for them. So what we've seen him in Daddy's quite a striking, really remarkably courageous act of defiance by local people who basically watched the way in which protesters were shot down and said, We've had enough of that message is resonating with seen lots of protests in other towns, coming out to support the people of men data and saluting their bravery. Southeast Asia correspondent Jonathan Had you're listening, Tunisia..