Aizawl : Over 5,000 Myanmar nationals have crossed over to neighbouring Mizoram in India following Monday’s airstrike by the Myanmar army in its Chin state, said Lalbiakthanga Khiangte, Inspector General of Police, Mizoram Police.
“Now there are as many as more than 5,000 people took refuge in two Mizoram villages along the Myanmar border,” the IGP said, adding that many got injured.
“As many as about 20 are injured. Eight of them are taken to Aizawl for better medical treatment and the rest are being treated in Champhai,” the IGP further said. He said one of the injured succumbed to his injuries last evening.
Asked what the status was on the ground and whether there was any possibility for commotion on the Myanmar side, he said, “Since last night there has been no commotion.”
“Now it is quite calm but we don’t know whether the Myanmar army will attack from the air. We cannot rule out air strike at present if the Myanmar government is willing.”
The Mizoram IGP apprised that as many as 42 Myanmar army personnel have surrendered in front of Mizoram Police, and they have been handed over to the central force — Assam Rifles. “(Government of) India will decide their fate.”
The injured are being taken care of by local Mizo non-governmental organisations. Many Myanmar nationals were caught in the crossfire and got injured while crossing over to India on Monday.
The fighting reportedly started after the People’s Defence Force (PDF) attacked two military bases at Khawmawi and Rihkhawdar in Chin state near the Indian border. In retaliation, the Myanmar army launched airstrikes.
Several Myanmar nationals who were injured in the Myanmar army airstrike have crossed the international border entered Mizoram’s Champhai district and were admitted to a hospital for treatment.
The latest influx of refugees is in addition to the thousands who have already taken refuge in the northeastern state since 2021. Mizos share ethnic ties with the Chin community.
Myanmar’s military junta is facing its biggest test since taking power in a 2021 coup.