Traditionally, the Chin people used their intimate knowledge of this hilly, jungle terrain and homemade hunting rifles, called Tumi, to kill wild boar, goat and deer for food.
A member of the Chinland Defense Force (CDF), who wanted to remain anonymous for security reasons, said its fighters are “ordinary citizens” including “farmers, university students, hunters and some high school students.”
“The Tumi guns that we use are part of our culture as we are hunters and farmers, every house has it,” he said.
Their homemade rifles and explosives were put to the test against the military’s heavy weaponry of artillery, automatic guns and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) last month, when the Tatmadaw launched an all-out offensive on the Chin town of Mindat, according to multiple humanitarian groups and the CDF.
As bombs and bullets rained down on the town, thousands of people fled. They remain stranded in the nearby jungle hills with little food or medical aid. Water supplies were cut off to…