Junta troops flee fighting into Thailand from Myanmar’s Kayin state

The area is near the important border crossing by Thailand’s Mae Sot.
By RFA Burmese
2024.03.22
Junta troops flee fighting into Thailand from Myanmar’s Kayin state Thai soldiers speak with Myanmar junta troops who fled from Kayin state into Thailand, March 21, 2024. Blurring in photo is from source.
(fanarmy01 via Facebook)

Two groups of junta soldiers crossed into Thailand from Myanmar’s Kayin state this week to escape fighting with ethnic Karen rebels, several sources told Radio Free Asia on Thursday.

The first group of 48 soldiers were attacked at their military base in Kyainseikgyi township on Tuesday by the Karen National Liberation Army, or KNLA, and allied forces, a People’s Defense Force official told Radio Free Asia RFA on condition of anonymity due to security concerns.

The KNLA’s Special Operation Force participated in the attack, according to the force’s spokesperson, Comrade Aung San Shar.

The junta troops crossed the border to seek refuge in Paikhalan village in Thailand on Tuesday afternoon, the PDF official said. The troops were being held at a Royal Thai Army camp and will be sent back to Myanmar by immigration authorities in the next few days, he said.

The area is near the important border crossing between Myanmar’s Myawaddy and Thailand’s Mae Sot.

On Thursday, 26 military junta soldiers fled from their military camp in Kayin state’s Kawkareik township into Thailand after fighting with Karen forces, the Karen Information Center reported.

The second group of junta troops also walked into Paikhalan village, where they were detained by Thai authorities, according to Moe Gyo, chairman of the Thailand-based Joint Action Committee on Burmese People’s Affairs.

“The second batch of 26 people fled there this morning,” he said. “As usual, the Royal Thai Army confiscated their weapons for safekeeping.”

The junta hasn’t provided any information on the two groups who crossed into Thailand.

RFA attempts to contact junta spokesperson Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun and Col. Min Kyaw, the minister of Security and Border Affairs of Kayin state, were unsuccessful on Thursday.

Translated by Kalyar Lwin. Edited by Matt Reed and Malcolm Foster.

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