Thousands of Burmese have fled to Thailand in the wake of the series of gun battles between the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and the Burmese Army near the Myawaddy-Maesod ...
Thousands of Burmese have fled to Thailand in the wake of the series of gun battles between the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and the Burmese Army near the Myawaddy-Maesod Thai-Burma Friendship Bridge located on the Thai-Burma border.
“Now, many people are crossing the river to Thailand, including children in school uniforms and elderly people. At least, 10,000 people arrived in Thailand. Many crossed the river either by boat or swam across,” an eyewitness said.
Thai Border Guard forces took the Burmese refugees to nearby monasteries.
A number of artillery shells landed in Thailand.
“Two RPG shells landed in front of the customs office near the bridge in Thailand. Three people were injured, one of whom died,” he added.
The exchange of fire occurred between the DKBA Brigade No.5 led by Brigadier Gen. Saw Lar Pwe, who had rejected the junta’s proposed BGF, and the Burmese Army.
“They exchanged fire near the bridge. I saw one Captain and 10 Burmese soldiers walking near the bridge on the Burma side. They were watching the bridge from their hiding place,” the eyewitness said.
“Nine people have been killed in the clash. A trishaw driver and a woman were killed. Four people died after being taken to hospital. Another three people from a car washing shop were also killed,” he said.
The gunfight broke out in the morning and continued till 11 am and started again around 3 pm. It was worse in the evening.
Around 11 am, DKBA forces seized the government’s offices in ‘Three Pagoda Pass’ town, according to a local commander Maj. A One.
“We seized their SB office, Information Department, Forestry and MAS office. These offices are located in the middle of the town. We did not seize the police station because it is very close to Thailand,” he added.
According to a local, DKBA forces burnt down the government’s buildings but not many fled to Thailand from ‘Three Pagoda Pass’ town.
The polling station in Ward no. 4 was burnt down. Then the forestry office caught fire because the buildings are very close to each other. The other buildings started burning one after another.
Thai Border Guard Forces have been deployed along the border in the wake of the fighting in neighbouring Burma.
It was predicted that the Burmese Army would launch military offensives against ceasefire groups, which refused to transform to the BGF, after the election. Some ceasefire groups and some ethnic armed groups, which are not ceasefire groups, formed a military alliance on November 4 to take on the Burmese Army in the event of an attack.
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