Hundreds flee to Thailand after Myanmar army air strikes

FAW Jiefang CA-141 military truck of Myanmar Army

FAW Jiefang CA-141 military truck of Myanmar Army. Photo: TTL(Facebook). CC0 1.0.

Hundreds of people fled to Thailand on Friday (24 December) after the Myanmar Army carried out air strikes in the town of Lay Kay Kaw in southeastern Kayin State.

The town is the scene of heavy fighting between the army and the anti-coup Karen National Union (KNU) armed group, which controls the area.

Residents had to flee across the Moei River into Thailand because of indiscriminate air and heavy artillery attacks by the army, local officials and residents said.

Last week, 2,500 villagers were displaced to the Mae Sot region on the Thai side because of the fighting.

On the Thai side, sounds of guns, bombs and fighter jets could be heard, and houses shook from the violence of the explosions.

KNU recently called on the United Nations (UN) to declare Kayin State a no-fly zone to stop attacks by the Myanmar Army.

Since the army overthrew the elected government in February, there have been major clashes between anti-coup ethnic groups and security forces.

The KNU is an armed ethnic group fighting for autonomy for their region of 1.6 million people and more recently against the ruling military junta.

The Myanmar Army, known locally as the Tatmadaw, has killed 1,365 people and arrested more than 8,200 since it seized power in February when it jailed leaders of the National League for Democracy party led by Suu Kyi, according to data compiled by the Political Prisoners Assistance Association.

-Thailand News (TN)

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