Burmese Civilians Flee Fighting | Bangkok Post: multimedia

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The ruling junta and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army agree that the latter should become a border guard unit, as the first elections in 20 years are held in Burma. Dissatisfied with the arrangement, a DKBA splinter group stormed a military camp in the border town of Myawaddy on November 8.

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Karen civilians fled across the border into Thailand to escape the violence, mainly into Tak and Kanchanaburi provinces. Thai authorities responded by setting up shelters for the displaced people.

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Conditions in these camps are basic at best. Preparing food and finding clean water is difficult and a lack of electricity means families must rely on candlelight.

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The Thai army has been brought in to offer humanitarian aid such as medical care and transportation to Burmese civilians. Military leaders have confirmed that Thai troops would not interfere in Burma's internal affairs.

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Since fighting broke out at least 20,000 Karen civilians have entered Thailand.

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Some Karen civilians returned home on the morning of November 10 in the hope that the violence had ended.

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Fighting in the area had not been suppressed however, forcing many of the Karen to return to Thailand later the same day.

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Displaced Karen civilians have taken shelter in Thailand while clashes between Burmese troops and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army continue. Despite reports that the violence may have subsided, returning home has proved difficult for the civilians. Photos by Somchai Poomlard. 

  • Published: 10 Nov 2010
  • Total views: 7,807

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