FIVE buildings were set on fire at the Myanmar town of Payathonzu which is opposite the Thai town of Sangkhla Buri in Kanchanaburi as clashes between Myanmar government troops and fighters believed to be from Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) raged from last evening to late night, Thai Rath newspaper said this morning (Jan. 24).
Later Sangkhla Buri district chief Mr. Suthiporn Siwavetpikun sent Mr. Damrongrat Supapat, head of a defence unit, and some volunteers to monitor the fighting at the Three Pagodas Pass, which links the two towns, and patrol the villages together with soldiers, police and Border Patrol Police.
The fire was just 800-900 metres from the Thai border and visible from the Thai side while explosions and gunshots too could be heard from time to time but the Myanmar town is now quiet.
Col. Thatchadet Abuarat, deputy head of Lat Ya task force, ordered soldiers to patrol the area and urged locals who had assembled at the Three Pagodas Pass to withdraw for their own safety.
Villagers in this area said that from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. yesterday there were several explosions. Later a fire broke out at the immigration office near the border with the Myanmar district office too attacked and set ablaze.
Sources at the border said the attack was likely mounted by DKBA in response to Myanmar junta’s planes having bombed Col. Paw Lin’s camp, around 25-26 km from the border, on Jan. 21.
Top and Front Page: Myanmar buildings ablaze during a clash between junta troops and fighters believed to be from Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA). Photos: Thai Rath