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Thai border town evacuated after Karen army attack on Burmese military outpost

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Photo via Facebook/ Karen Information Centre

Around 450 villagers in Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province near the Myanmar border evacuated the area after a Karen army attacked and took over a Burmese military camp. The attack was so close to the Thai village that residents could hear the gunshots and explosions. One evacuee was shot in her knee by a stray bullet, the governor says.

Since the February military takeover, outsing the country’s democratically elected leader and other civilian politicians, hundreds of anti-coup protesters have been killed by military security forces. Many ethnic armies that occupy territories along the Myanmar border have supported the anti-coup movement, leading to clashes with the state military.

A prominent ethnic army, the military wing of the Karen National Union, or KNU, attacked the Burmese military outpost. The head of foreign affairs for the union told reporters they had captured the outpost. A resident in Thailand’s border town told reporters she could hear the gunshots.

“I heard distant sounds of gunfire since early in the morning and all of us were fearful… Some were evacuated to other areas because they feared more escalated fighting such as airstrikes.”

Governor Sithichai Chindaluang told reporters that around 450 villagers were evacuated to safe areas in Thailand to shelter. With the ongoing violence just across the border, the Thai foreign ministry said Thailand would give sanctuary to ethnic Karen who flee the neighbouring country.

Just last month, the Karen army overran a military base, but the country’s junta later fought back at night with airstrikes. Many fled the area and crossed over to Thailand.

SOURCE: Benar News

 

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