Car bomb and gun battle at immigration building on Thai/Myanmar border

Thai PBS World

A car bomb and a gun fight wreaked havoc in Myawaddy Township in Myanmar last night. The car bomb, suspected to have been left in a pickup truck, exploded at an immigration building near the border with Tak province in Thailand. The remains of the pickup truck suspected of carrying the bomb were found near a border checkpoint.

After the bomb went off, armed anti-government rebels arrived at the building and fought a gun battle with the Burmese troops guarding the building and border checkpoint. After a 15 minute fight, the rebels fled. No rebel groups have claimed responsibility yet, however, forested areas around Myawaddy Township are known to be under control of the Karen National Liberation Army, one of many ethnic groups battling against the Burmese Junta who seized power in a coup on February 1, 2021.

The 4 storey immigration building, as well as some shop houses, were severely damaged by the bomb, and one car also caught fire. Firefighters eventually brought the situation under control. There have not yet been reports of casualties.

One day before this recent round of violence, Myanmar junta chief Min Aung Hlaing called for peace between the government and Myanmar’s many rebel groups. He did not, however, give a time frame for peace talks. This was in an address on state media. He has also refused to work with the nominated ASEAN envoy to work with the Bloc to find a peaceful resolution to the 15 month-long coup and civil insurgency.

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Myanmar’s many ethnic minorities, perhaps most notably the Karen people of Myanmar, have formed armed groups fighting for their ethnic groups’ autonomy. They have been fighting for greater autonomy since Myanmar gained independence in 1948. In February, soldiers from the Karen National Union and People’s Defense Force attacked the Burmese army with mortar guns and grenade launchers. This was in Palu village, also in Myawaddy.

Last month, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights accused Myanmar’s army of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including burning women and children alive in a Karen-majority state.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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