160 homes set ablaze by the army's shelling in Myanmar

Local media and activists reported that more than 160 buildings, including two churches, were destroyed in a northern Myanmar town by shelling.

160 homes set ablaze by the army's shelling in Myanmar

The destruction of parts the Thantlang town in Chin state seemed to be another step in the ongoing struggle between Myanmar’s military-installed government (Maoist) and its opponents. Although the army took power from Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government in February, it has not been able to quell widespread resistance.

A government spokesperson denied that "nonsense allegations" were being reported in country-destroying media. He blamed insurgents who instigated the fighting and set the fires.

U.N. experts and human rights groups recently warned that the government plans to launch a major offensive against the country's northwest. This includes Chin state and the Magway and Sagaing regions. The rugged residents are known for their fighting spirit and resistance to military rule, despite only being lightly armed with single shot hunting rifles or homemade weapons.

According to reports, there were no immediate reports of any casualties in the fire that started Friday morning and burned through the night.

Save the Children, a humanitarian aid agency, stated that its offices were located in one of the buildings set on fire.

"The violence that has caused such destruction is completely absurd." The London-based agency released a statement saying that the violence had not only damaged one of its offices but also threatened the entire town and the homes and lives of thousands of children and families.

Thantlang was already largely abandoned after previous attacks by soldiers from the government.

18 other houses were also destroyed and a hotel was damaged by fire that was set off by another shelling attack on Sept. 18. A Christian pastor was also killed when he attempted to put out the flames.

The town was evacuated by more than 10,000 people. Some stayed in nearby villages while others sought refuge in India, Mizoram. It is believed that the town's only survivors are 20 children and staff who were living in an orphanage at the outskirts.

According to the Chin Human Rights Organization, Thantlang fires had been put out by Saturday morning. 200 homes may have been damaged.

"Most of structures along the main street which had shop stalls, and other businesses have been destroyed. Salai Za Uk Leng, the deputy executive director of the group, stated that there was nothing to be salvaged. "The fire's burning style indicates that the fire was not only lit by incendiary rocket fires, but also intentionally torched houses and structures manually.

According to the Chinland Defense Force - Thantlang. A local militia fighting the military destroyed 164 structures by fire, including a building housing Pentecostal Church of the Rock and a Presbyterian Church.

According to the defense force, the shelling started after fighting broke out in an attempt to stop government soldiers looting a town house.

Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tu, a government spokesperson, said that the events started when PDF members attacked security forces. They then returned fire. According to him, the insurgents hid in their homes and started fires as they fled. This prevented government reinforcements from extinguishing the flames by firing at them.

He said that it was impossible to transport firefighting resources from Hakha, the capital of the state, as a bridge connecting the two towns was destroyed on Oct. 21.

It's not necessary to reveal who destroyed the bridge. These videos can also be found on country-destroying media," Zaw Min Thin said, referring to a video that circulated widely via social video and showed several explosive charges being detonated at the span. The sequence of events was described by him as "a deliberate plot".

According to the Chin Human Rights Organization, the statement expressed concern that the events of today may be just the beginning of an offensive by the government known as Operation Anawrahta. The government has not yet acknowledged this plan.

"The unprecedented number of troops sent to Chin state over the past few weeks and days is truly remarkable. The human rights group said that they brought death and destruction with them. The U.N. Security Council must take immediate action to prevent mass atrocities from happening.

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