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Thailand Safeguards Civilians as Violence in Myanmar Spreads Across the Thai Border

Rebels use drones to target stranded regime soldiers, bullet from Myanmar strikes home in Mae Sot, Thailand

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Violence in Myanmar Spreads Across the Thai Border: Image Royal Thai Army

Thailand’s military and border authorities are stepping up efforts to safeguard civilians along the Thai-Myanmar border, with the goal of assisting Myanmar nationals seeking humanitarian aid while preventing violence from spreading.

On Saturday, fighting erupted near Myawaddy, across the border from Mae Sot in Tak province, forcing over 1,700 residents to escape as rebels attempted to chase out junta troops holed up for days at the 2nd Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge.

According to a post on the social networking site X, Thai state broadcaster NBT reported resistance fighters deployed 40mm machine guns and launched 20 drone bombs on an estimated 200 junta soldiers who had withdrawn from a coordinated rebel attack on army posts that began on April 5.

Thai military soldiers in charge of border security are collaborating with police and narcotics officers to improve control over crossings between Mae Sot and Myanmar, particularly in light of the ongoing violence.

The increased fighting has pushed citizens in Myanmar to seek sanctuary by crossing into Tak, highlighting the necessity for better border control and border-crosser vetting, according to authorities.


Myawaddy Residents Flee Fighting: File Image.

Elderly, Women and Children Fleeing Myanmar

The Ministry of Public Health said that 1,686 people crossed the border to seek temporary sanctuary in Mae Sot on Saturday, with one person hurt by shrapnel. It stated that over half of the arrivals were children and the elderly.

In a post on X on Saturday evening, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin stated that he would fly to Mae Sot on Tuesday to assess the situation firsthand.

Skirmishes between junta forces and Karen insurgents have begun to affect Thai people, as proven by a stray bullet that entered a house’s window. Although the window was damaged, no one in the house was injured.

Sunai Phasuk, a senior researcher on Thailand for Human Rights Watch Asia, wrote on X on Saturday that more than 1,600 people from Myawaddy had crossed into Thailand after the Myanmar military attacked Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) troops earlier.

The activist also posted messages from Prime Minister Srettha and Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukura, stating that the government is actively watching the situation in Myanmar.

They stated that the government will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to individuals in need along the border.

“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,” he wrote in a post to X.

Karen rebels

Karen Rebels Expel Junta Troops: Reuters Image

Myawaddy Rebels Expel Junta Troops

On April 11, Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) forces and resistance fighters captured Myawaddy, throwing a major blow to a well-equipped military that is failing to govern and is now facing a key test of wartime legitimacy.

The takeover of Myawaddy and surrounding army outposts is a huge defeat for a junta under pressure from Western sanctions, as the town is a major source of tax revenue and a conduit for more than 35 billion baht in yearly border trade.

Padoh Saw Taw Nee, a Karen National Union (KNU) official, stated that the group was fighting against the junta in Myawaddy but did not provide any other information.

Early Saturday morning, a Thai army unit stationed on the border reported that confrontations were underway, with a force targeting junta forces under the bridge.

“Currently in the middle of fighting, no losses known,” the Rajamnu Special Task Force wrote on Facebook. According to Mae Sot police head Pittayakorn Petcharat, the battle is “intensifying”.

According to Thai Immigration police, “around 2,000” people crossed the border, and local authorities were hunting for weapons.

“We have given them food and moved them to the safer place,” they said.

Keywords: myanmar news, myanmar now, myanmar conflict, myanmar coup

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