A MAE HONG SON subdistrict is sheltering 450 refugees who fled across the border after Karen National Union (KNU) insurgents clashed with Myanmar troops and seized their camp yesterday (April 27) with Myanmar Air Force launching an aerial assault on a Karen stronghold today, Thai Rath newspaper said.
KNU’s 5th Brigade said in a statement that in the battle for Seolae camp they were able to seize a large number of war weapons and killed 22 Myanmar soldiers with approximately 40 others escaping into the forest while losing four of its own men. KNU snipers were part of the assault unit.
Locals at Mae Hong Son’s Mae Yuam subdistrict, Mae Sariang district, said they heard sounds of gunfire in the morning with this being from a new clash between KNU and Myanmar soldiers while at least two aircraft strafed another KNU stronghold.
Meanwhile Mae Sam Lab Subdistrict Administrative Organization together with the provincial police and health officials screened and moved the 450 refugees seven kilometres away from the border for temporary shelter.
They were divided into three groups, with Karens staying near a church, Shans at the village hall and Muslims in a school building.
With the help of donors, officials are able to give the refugees three meals a day but they do need bedding as some of them fled with nothing at all.
Thai Army Rangers are closely monitoring the clashes and air strikes across the border and it is feared that if this continues more people will try to cross over to the Thai side.
The refugees who fled to the Thai side of the border yesterday and war weapons that KNU said it captured after seizing the Myanmar Army camp. Photos: Thai Rath