Thousands flee to Thailand from Myanmar

Thousands flee to Thailand from Myanmar

Men use slingshots as they crouch behind a barricade during a protest against the military coup in Yangon on Sunday. (Reuters photo)
Men use slingshots as they crouch behind a barricade during a protest against the military coup in Yangon on Sunday. (Reuters photo)

About 3,000 villagers from Myanmar's southeastern Karen state fled to Thailand on Sunday following air attacks by the army, local media said.

Myanmar’s military launched air strikes on five areas near the border, including a displacement camp, the Karen Women’s Organization said.

"At the moment, villagers are hiding in the jungle as more than 3,000 crossed to Thailand to take refuge," a statement from the group said.

Thai PBS reported about 3,000 had reached Mae Hong Son.

At least two soldiers from the Karen National Union were killed, said David Eubank, founder of the Free Burma Rangers, a relief organisation.

"We haven’t had air strikes there for over 20 years," Eubank said. "Second, these were at night, so the capability of the Burma military has increased with the help of Russia and China and other nations, and that is deadly."

Myanmar army fighter jets launched air strikes on Saturday on a village near the Thai border in territory controlled by an armed ethnic group, the group said, as fears grow of civil war following last month's military coup.

"They bombed the area... The villagers from that area said two dead and two injured," a spokesperson for the Karen Peace Support Network said, adding that communication was difficult in the remote region and there could be more casualties.

A spokesman for the junta did not answer phone calls seeking comment.

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Vocabulary

  • air strike (noun): an attack made by aircraft - การโจมตีทางอากาศ
  • capability: the ability to do something - ความสามารถ
  • casualty (noun): victim; someone/ something that has been harmed, injured or killed as the result of a bad event such as a disaster or crime (casualties: the number of dead or injured) - เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย; จำนวนคนตายหรือได้รับบาดเจ็บ
  • civil war: a war fought by different groups of people living in the same country - สงครามกลางเมือง
  • coup: the seizure of power in a country by a group of people, usually members of the armed forces - รัฐประหาร
  • displacement: the process of moving something from its usual position - การย้ายที่,การเคลื่อนหลุด
  • ethnic group: a group of people with the same language, culture and history, usually a minority, not the largest group in the country - กลุ่มชาติพันธุ์
  • flee: to leave a place or person quickly because you are afraid of possible danger - หนี อพยพ
  • junta: a group of military officers that governs a country, usually without having been elected - รัฐบาลทหาร
  • refuge: a place where you go to protect yourself from something dangerous or threatening - ที่ลี้ภัย ที่หลบภัย
  • relief: help for improving a bad physical condition or a bad situation - ผ่อนคลาย, บรรเทา
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