Fierce Fighting in Myanmar Forces Thousands to Flee to Thailand Amid Ethnic Armed Groups’ Uprising and Military Crackdown
Thousands of people have fled across the border to Thailand as fierce fighting erupted between Myanmar’s military and armed rebel groups, according to Thai officials. The clashes occurred near the town of Myawaddy in southern Karen state, which borders Thailand’s Tak province. The fighting reportedly broke out after an attack on a border guard post by the Karen National Liberation Army, an ethnic armed group.
The Tak provincial officials reported that around 3,998 people had fled into Thailand’s temporary shelter across ten areas, with the situation being closely monitored. Since the military coup in February 2021, ethnic armed groups, such as the KNLA, have joined forces with anti-coup groups in their bid to force the generals from power. The military has been accused of using lethal force against its opponents, killing over 3,212 people and jailing more than 17,000. Observers have also accused the military of targeting civilians in bombings and ground assaults, resulting in entire villages being burned to the ground. Myanmar’s military denies targeting civilians and claims to be fighting “terrorists,” blaming anti-coup fighters for the deaths of civilians.