Car bomb rocks Myawaddy, putting Mae Sot on security alert

Car bomb rocks Myawaddy, putting Mae Sot on security alert

The first Thai-Myanmar bridge linking Mae Sot district in Tak province with Myawaddy is seen behind a boat travelling in the Moei River on Sept 6, 2015. (Photo: Patipat Janthong)
The first Thai-Myanmar bridge linking Mae Sot district in Tak province with Myawaddy is seen behind a boat travelling in the Moei River on Sept 6, 2015. (Photo: Patipat Janthong)

MAE SOT, TAK: A car bomb went off at the foot of the first Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge on the Myawaddy side of the border opposite Thailand's Mae Sot district late on Saturday night, prompting Thai security units to be put on alert, according to Thai media reports.

The loud explosion was clearly heard in Mae Sot.

The bomb was believed to have been placed in a vehicle left in front of the gate of the Myawaddy border checkpoint at the foot of the first Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge by an anti-government force.

Power supply to the area around the bridge was cut after the explosion, followed by the sound of about 30 gunshots.

Several buildings and vehicles were reportedly damaged, but there were no reports of casualties.

Burmese troops and members of the border guard force (BGF) reportedly rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area. Fire engines were dispatched to douse the flames.

In Mae Sot, village security units, members of a rapid-deployment company of the Naresuan Force and Border Patrol Police Company 346 stepped up patrols along the border to ensure security.

A patrol team spotted numerous Myanmar people who had fled across the border to the Thai side of the Moei river before the explosion and managed to round up 24 men and 25 women.

The 49 said they had illegally crossed the border to Moo 2, a riverside village in tambon Tha Sai Luat. They were arrested while waiting for job agents to take them to Bangkok and other provinces.

They claimed to have paid 20,000 baht each to job brokers.

They were to be deported after going through legal proceedings at Mae Sot police station for illegal entry.

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