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Thai-Myanmar Border Tensions Escalate, Refugees Flee to Thailand

Amid escalating conflict along the Thai-Myanmar border, Thai authorities are bolstering security measures to address the increasing turmoil that has prompted civilians to seek refuge in Thailand. The unrest, which saw over a thousand civilians fleeing to Thailand on Saturday (April 20), stems from clashes near Myawaddy, directly across from Mae Sot in Tak province.

Resistance forces targeted Myanmar’s military Battalion 275 with mortar and drone strikes near the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge No. 2, close to Yebu village in Myawaddy Township, Kayin State. The intensity of the assault, audible from Mae Sot district in Tak province, underscores the gravity of the situation.

Responding to the escalating tensions, the Royal Thai Air Force dispatched two F-16 fighter jets to patrol border regions in Kamphaeng Phet and Tak provinces, asserting a firm stance against airspace violations. Additionally, in Mae Hong Son province, the resistance launched 60 mm mortars, some landing within Thai territory in Sob Moei subdistrict, while 120 mm mortars impacted areas near the Yuam River in Mae Sam Laep subdistrict the previous day, though without causing injuries or damage.

Reports indicate heavy engagements between resistance forces and government troops, involving heavy artillery and drone-dropped bombs. In response, the Thai military, alongside police and narcotics officers, has heightened surveillance and control over border crossings to manage the influx of refugees and ensure security.

Although conflict intensity in Myawaddy slightly decreased following its capture by resistance forces, the Myanmar military remains active in attempting to recapture the area. Facilities for detaining captured Myanmar soldiers have been established, adding to those under the National Karen Army’s management, which currently detains over 600 individuals.

Among those who crossed into Thailand on Saturday, a significant number were children and elderly, with one individual sustaining injuries from shrapnel. Concerns about the safety of Thai citizens were highlighted when a stray bullet struck a residential window in Tak province, fortunately without causing injuries.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced plans to visit Mae Sot next week to assess the situation, emphasizing the government’s active monitoring of the conflict and provision of necessary humanitarian aid to affected individuals.

Experts suggest that the conflict in Myanmar has escalated into a full-scale war, with the government retaining control over critical military and strategic locations despite resistance attempts to establish liberated zones.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staffhttps://locality.guide
Provider of news and content to Heaven is Hua Hin

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