2 Thai Villages Evacuated After One Thai Shot Near Myanmar Border

Fighting Myanmar Border

Thais in two villages in Mae Hong Son near the Myanmar border have been evacuated from areas that have seen fighting between local militias and the Myanmar military.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry said yesterday that 220 villagers in tambon Mae Sam Laep, Sop Moei district, and tambon Mae Yuam, Mae Sariang district, had been evacuated following fighting from Tuesday to Wednesday this week between the Karen National Union and Karen National Liberation Army and the Myanmar army.

One Thai from tambon Mae Sam Laep has been shot and hospitalised.

Ministry spokesman Tanee Sangrat said 2,267 Myanmar refugees had sought shelter in Thailand and the authorities had allocated three quarantine venues for them in Mae Sariang district.

He said if the fighting did not end soon, the authorities had plans in place to move them to more permanent places nearby and would make sure they had all the essentials to get by. Government agencies and non-profit organisations could later provide further help, Mr Sangrat said.

He said Mae Hong Son was not yet ready to accept donations because the army was in temporary charge of caring for the refugees and they would let the authorities know if they got out of control.

Sithichai Jindaluang, Mae Hong Son governor, said 278 Thais in two villages affected by the Myanmar fighting had taken shelter at a school in tambon Mae Sam Laep, Sop Moei district and tambon Mae Yuam, Mae Sariang district.

Myanmar people have been fleeing into Thailand to escape the military government’s attacks against those protesting its 1st February coup against the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.