Connect with us


Myanmar dissidents seize Thai hospital



Myanmar dissidents seize Thai hospital | Thaiger

RATCHABURI (AFP): Heavily armed guerrillas from Myanmar dissident group God’s Army stormed a Thai hospital early this morning and took around 700 patients and staff hostage. Up to 20 fighters from the ethnic-Karen militia, which is led by two twin boys, stormed the hospital in the town of Ratchaburi, 123 kilometres (70 miles) west of Bangkok. Seven hours into the drama, 10 elderly staff were released from the hospital and whisked away in a van. Thai Army commander General Surayudh Chulanont told reporters the gunmen warned Thai forces to keep away from the hospital and to stop firing mortars at their group along the border. “We have agreed to these two conditions,” he said. The guerrillas also called on Thailand to pressure Myanmar to halt an offensive against them and asked for medical treatment for injured comrades, officials said. Paveena Moonbutr, 21, a nurse trapped inside the hospital, told reporters on her mobile phone that the gunmen were armed with M-16 assault rifles and had rigged up remote control bombs around the building. “I saw it with my own eyes. I saw a big blue public bus drive into the front of the hospital, and three to four gunmen in uniform and some others jumped out,” she said. She said around 700 people were being held hostage in the hospital, a figure confirmed by the health ministry. “The deputy permanent secretary of the health ministry said there are around seven hundred people in the hospital,” a health ministry official told AFP. Thai police volunteer Chantas Tilokavichai said the fighters had rigged up a bomb packed with ball bearings at the entrance to the hospital and had threatened to detonate it if Thai forces tried to oust them. Television pictures taken inside the hospital by a Thai cameraman allowed in by the gunmen showed rows of patients sitting forlornly on wooden benches guarded by masked gunmen in green fatigues. God’s Army is a close ally of another group, the Vigorous Burmese Student Warriors (VBSW), which held 38 hostages during a day-long siege at the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok in October. Gunshots rang out as the gunmen took over the hospital but there were no reports of casualties, health ministry spokesman Ampol Jindawattana said. Government spokesman Akapol Sorasuchart condemned the siege as a violation of Thailand’s sovereignty. “It is international terrorism,” he said. “The Army commander is in charge on the scene but final decisions will be taken by the prime minister,” he said, adding the incident was “more perilous” than the embassy siege. Police have had difficulty talking to the hostage-takers since telephone lines in the hospital were cut. The two young leaders of the God’s Army are believed by their followers to possess mystical powers and the group has pledged to fight to the death to install democracy in Myanmar.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand4 hours ago

Cabinet seems to have ignored 4am nightlife proposal

Video5 hours ago

THAILAND NEWS TODAY | Korean woman arrested for 5-million-baht theft, 6-year overstay

Crime5 hours ago

Tuhao’s Chinese gang buys 50 homes in Bangkok luxury village with cash

Sponsored7 hours ago

Krungthong Plaza offers endless choices of well-selected plus-size fashion products

Road deaths5 hours ago

Bus flipped in Tak injuring 44 Burmese workers, killing 3

Thailand5 hours ago

3 men were arrested for stealing Thai Internet connection & World Cup betting in Cambodia

Pattaya5 hours ago

Intoxicated Pattaya woman left uninjured after overturning car

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime6 hours ago

Woman who allegedly scammed victims for over 30 million baht arrested in Pattaya

Bangkok6 hours ago

Bangkok BTS Skytrain fares to increase next year

Thailand6 hours ago

Police put brakes on car rental thief in Bangkok

World7 hours ago

New drug marks major milestone in slowing Alzhemier’s

World Cup7 hours ago

400 to 500 migrant workers in Qatar died due to World Cup, not 6,500

Visa8 hours ago

Thailand advises Indians to obtain visa prior to travelling to avoid long queues

Thailand8 hours ago

Driver furious with Bangkok shopping mall after foreigner accidently causes damage to her car

Politics8 hours ago

Iran promises Thailand it won’t attack Israeli tourists

Crime9 hours ago

Korean woman arrested for 5 million baht theft, 6-year overstay

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11