Soldiers board a school bus outside a high school in Yangon, Myanmar. EFE/EPA/FILE/STRINGER

More than 40 Myanmar soldiers flee to India after rebel offensive

New Delhi, Nov 14 (EFE).- More than 40 soldiers from Myanmar crossed the border into neighboring India against the advancing rebel offensive in their country, and handed over their weapons to the Indian border troops, official sources said Tuesday.

The soldiers crossed over overnight through the porous border between the two countries and arrived in the state of Mizoram, in eastern India, where they handed over the weapons, the inspector general of the state police, Lalbiakthanga Khiangte, told EFE.

“Yesterday late in the evening 40 came, this morning another two, as directed, we handed them over to the Assam Rifles (armed police),” Khiangte said.

However, the official did not clarify whether the soldiers identified themselves as members of the Myanmar Army.

The Myanmar security forces are currently facing one of its greatest challenges in the face of an advance in offensives by the rebel forces – that are opposed to the military junta that seized power in a coup in 2021 – in the western part of the country.

The fighting near the border has also caused hundreds of residents in the towns of Ratithaung and Buthidaung.

Some 2,000 people escaped to India to take refuge from recent airstrikes launched by the army in response to the rebel offensive, Deputy commissioner of Champhai District in Mizoram, James Lalrinchhan, told India’s ANI agency.

According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, 75,000 Myanmar nationals have sought refuge in India, including those fleeing the military junta as well as members of the persecuted Rohingya community.

Since the start of the rebel offensive in Myanmar on Oct. 27, some 90,000 people have been displaced from their homes, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported on Friday. EFE