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Home > News > World News > Article > Myanmar citizens escape to Thailand amid clashes

Myanmar citizens escape to Thailand amid clashes

Updated on: 21 April,2024 05:29 AM IST  |  Bangkok
Agencies |

Attacks launched against Myanmar troops at a major trade-crossing point

Myanmar citizens escape to Thailand amid clashes

Myanmar citizens crossing Moei river. Pic/AP

About 1,300 people have fled to Thailand as fresh fighting erupted at a border town in eastern Myanmar that has recently been captured by ethnic militants, officials said Saturday.

Fighters from the Karen ethnic minority last week captured the last of the Myanmar army’s outposts in and around Myawaddy, which is connected to Thailand by two bridges across the Moei River. The latest clashes were triggered when the Karen guerillas launched an attack against Myanmar troops who were hiding near the 2nd Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, a major crossing point for trade with Thailand, said police chief Pittayakorn Phetcharat in Thailand’s Mae Sot district. 

The fall of Myawaddy was a major setback for the military as they took power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in 2021. The clashes, involving drone attacks from the Karen forces and air strikes by the Myanmar military, had subsided by Saturday noon, but police chief Phetcharat said he could still hear sporadic gunshots. He also confirmed that the Thai authorities would move the fleeing people into a safer zone.

“I do not desire to see any such clashes have any impact on the territorial integrity of Thailand and we are ready to protect our borders and the safety of our people. At the same time, we are also ready to provide humanitarian assistance if necessary,” wrote Thailand’s PM Srettha Thavisin. 

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