Thousands flee into Thailand as Myanmar launches airstrikes on Karen villages
Nearly 3,000 villagers from Myanmar’s Karen state escaped to Thailand on Sunday and have been given shelter in refugee camps in Mae Hong Son.
Myanmar military launched airstrikes on Sunday evening in several areas, including a displacement camp on the Thai border, killing at least two soldiers from the Karen National Union (KNU) and wounding several others.
This is the first air attack since KNU signed a ceasefire agreement in 2015. Tensions in Myanmar have surged after the military overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi’s government on February 1.
Sithichai Jindaluang, Mae Hong Son governor, said more people will seek refuge as the conflict in Myanmar worsens. He said he is waiting for the government to issue clear instructions on how they can be helped.
He said a temporary camp has been set up in Mae Hong Son’s Khun Yuam district to accommodate the refugees.
Local administration sources in Mae Sariang district, meanwhile, have said that there are no exact details on how many refugees have shown up because the area is overseen by the military and other agencies are prohibited access.