Soldiers’ presence, internet shutdown hamper efforts to gather details of the military assault in Chin state that destroyed dozens of homes
Thang Biak discovered his house in Myanmar’s northwestern Chin State had burned down from watching the television news in neighbouring India.
He had fled Thantlang, a hilltop town of roughly 8,000 people, with his three sons and other residents on September 14, crossing into Mizoram two weeks later.
“When we fled, we couldn’t bring anything. Now all of our property has been destroyed,” said Thang Biak, for whom Al Jazeera has used a pseudonym due to concerns of military reprisals. “When I learned that my house had burned, I was so depressed that I couldn’t sleep or eat,” he added.
His home was one of more than 160 houses and two church buildings in Thantlang that were burned down on October 29, as the military intensified its operations to root out the civilian armed groups that have emerged across the country since the coup on February 1.