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About 1,300 individuals from Myanmar flee into Thailand after clashes broke out in a key border city

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People cross the Moei river as they flee Myawaddy township in Myanmar to Thailand’s Mae Sot city in Thailand’s Tak Province on April 20, 2024.
| Photo Credit: AP

About 1,300 individuals have fled from jap Myanmar into Thailand, officers stated on April 20, as contemporary preventing erupted at a border city that has not too long ago been captured by ethnic guerillas.

Fighters from the Karen ethnic minority final week captured the final of the Myanmar Army’s outposts in and round Myawaddy, which is related to Thailand by two bridges throughout the Moei River.

The newest clashes have been triggered within the morning when the Karen guerillas launched an assault in opposition to Myanmar troops who have been hiding close to the 2nd Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, a serious crossing level for commerce with Thailand, stated police chief Pittayakorn Phetcharat in Thailand’s Mae Sot district. He estimated about 1,300 individuals fled into Thailand.

Thai officers reported individuals had began crossing since April 19 following clashes in a number of areas of Myawaddy.

The fall of Myawaddy is a serious setback for the army that seized energy from the elected authorities of Aung San Suu Kyi in 2021. Myanmar’s once-mighty armed forces have suffered a collection of unprecedented defeats since final October, dropping swathes of territory together with border posts to each ethnic fighters, who’ve been preventing for larger autonomy for many years, and pro-democracy guerrilla items that took up arms after the army takeover.

The clashes, involving drone assaults from the Karen forces and airstrikes by the Myanmar army, had subsided by midday on April 20 in comparison with the morning, however Mae Sot police chief Pittayakorn Phetcharat stated he may nonetheless hear sporadic gunshots. He stated Thai authorities would transfer individuals fleeing right into a safer space.

Footage from the Thai border confirmed Thai troopers sustaining guard close to the bridge with sounds of explosions and gunshots within the background. People with kids waded throughout the river with their belongings and have been acquired by Thai officers on the river financial institution. Several are seen taking shelter in buildings alongside the river financial institution on the Myanmar aspect.

Hundreds of Thais to be evacuated from Myanmar through China amid heavy preventing

Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin wrote on the social media platform X on April 20 that he was carefully monitoring the state of affairs on 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. At the same time, we are also ready to provide humanitarian assistance if necessary,” he wrote.

In March, Thailand delivered its first batch of humanitarian help to Myanmar for about 20,000 displaced individuals.

Nikorndej Balangura, a spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, advised reporters on April 19 that Thailand is presently working to broaden its help initiative.

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