MORE Karen people tried to flee across the border to Thailand yesterday after Myanmar security forces bombed and severely damaged Ban Dibuhong village with this seen as a strategy to so burden Thailand it would in turn indirectly pressure the Karen National Union (KNU), Sanook.com reported today (March 30, 2021).
A close source of Maj. Gen. Bo Chor Hae, commander of KNU’s 5th Brigade, said at 8.30 p.m. last night that the Myanmar forces had two-fold objective in strafing the villages and not the command centre. Aside from burdening Thailand with more refugees, thus sparking action from the Thai side, it is to cut off supplies to Karen units.
A high-ranking Thai military officer contacted Maj. Gen. Bo Chor Hae and told him to stop attacking Myanmar Army units as this would lead to more Karens evacuating to Mae Sariang district of Mae Hong Son province.
With the air strikes having killed seven people, including children, and severely damaging their homes as well as the school, another large group of Karens moved to the bank of the Salween river opposite Huai Mae Saket in Mae Khong sub-district of Mae Sariang district in order to meet up with the first groups that came across to the Thai side.
However Karen sources that the 36th Army Rangers had pushed the Karen villagers to the Myanmar side and imposed a total ban on crossing over and also rolled out barbed wire to prevent them from doing so.
The new group of Karens who tried to get across to Thailand. Photos: Sanook.com