About 3,000 Myanmar nationals flee fighting to Tak
text size

About 3,000 Myanmar nationals flee fighting to Tak

Myanmar people cross the Moei River from Myawaddy to Mae Sot district of Tak on Saturday. (Photo: Assawin Pinitwong)
Myanmar people cross the Moei River from Myawaddy to Mae Sot district of Tak on Saturday. (Photo: Assawin Pinitwong)

About 3,000 Myanmar people fled Myawaddy to Mae Sot district of Tak to take refuge from escalating battles between Myanmar junta forces and ethnic troops, according to officials.

Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara said on Sunday that the number of Myanmar refugees in Mae Sot rose to about 3,000 and they were under supervision of the Interior Ministry.

He said that in the past Mae Sot had received about 10,000 Myanmar refugees and they had returned to their homeland after the situation had returned to normal.

He also said that the Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a warning to Myanmar after a bullet hit a window of a Thai house in Bang Wang Takhian village of tambon Tha Sai Luat in Mae Sot. No one was injured.

Security sources said that about 40% of the Myanmar refugees were women, elderly people and young children, many of them suffering from heat exhaustion.

Sources said that dozens of Myanmar people were injured as the the junta military that seized power in a  Feb 1, 2021 coup used war planes to bomb Myawaddy, while ethnic resistance troops were attacking government soldiers near the second border crossing between Mae Sot and Myawaddy from Saturday night.

Security authorities opened six temporary shelters for the refugees in Mae Sot and medics were providing them with first aid there.

The injured people from Myawaddy were sent to Mae Sot Hospital for treatment.

The first border crossing in Mae Sot remained open on early Sunday but traffic there was slow after the influx from Myawaddy to Mae Sot on Saturday evening.

Dr Sophon Iamsirithaworn, public health inspector-general, said health officials recently recorded 1,686 Myanmar refugees and more were expected to arrive. One refugee had been hit by shrapnel and sent to Mae Sot Hospital on Saturday, he said.

Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang said battles were escalating in Myawaddy and the Thai government was providing affected people with humanitarian aid. The overall situation remained within the Thai government's expectations, said the defence minister. who planned to visit Mae Sot in a few days.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin wrote on Facebook that after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday he would visit Mae Sot to monitor events, including border trade, and give moral support to local people and security officials.

He wrote that he did not want the battles to affect Thai soil and officials would have to be on the lookout for scammers working in Myawaddy who might also flee to Mae Sot.

Do you like the content of this article?