Thousands of displaced Burmese flee to Thailand following military air strikes

PHOTO: Free Burma Rangers

As the situation escalates in Myanmar, and fears grow that civil war is about to break out, around 3,000 displaced Burmese villagers have fled to Thailand. The Bangkok Post reports that on Saturday, the Burmese army launched an air offensive on a village controlled by an armed ethnic group.

The village in the southeastern Karen state is close to the Thai border and it’s reported that the military launched air strikes on 5 areas in the Mutraw district. The Karen Women’s Organisation say the strikes also hit a displacement camp.

“At the moment, villagers are hiding in the jungle as more than 3,000 crossed to Thailand to take refuge.”

You can check more about the weekend’s violence in Myanmar HERE.

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David Eubank from the humanitarian organisation, Free Burma Rangers, says at least 2 soldiers from the Karen National Union have been killed, also claiming that the Burmese army is being helped by powerful allies.

“We haven’t had air strikes there for over 20 years. Second, these were at night, so the capability of the Burma military has increased with the help of Russia and China and other nations, and that is deadly.”

Meanwhile, the KNU, an armed ethnic group that has control of the southeastern region of the country, says military air strikes have hit the district of Day Pu No in Papun, causing villagers to flee. They say communication with the region is proving challenging due to its remote location. According to the group, there are reports from villagers that 2 people have died and 2 are injured, but the KNU says there could be more casualties.

The KNU signed a ceasefire agreement in 2015, but that may well be in tatters since the February 1 military coup that ousted the democratically elected civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. The Burmese military have attempted to justify their actions with allegations that last November’s election was fraudulent. The latest air strikes are the most significant attack in the region in recent years.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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