AMID fierce fighting between Myanmar junta army and Karenni Army (KA), Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF) and People’s Defence Force (PDF) in Kayah state opposite Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province that started earlier this week there is now a non-stop stream of Karenni refugees crossing over to seek shelter on the Thai side, Naewna newspaper said this morning (June 16).
The fighting broke out on Tuesday June 13 between Myanmar junta’s 430th Rapid Mobility Battalion and Karenni fighters supported by PDF, the loosely organised armed wing of the pro-democracy National Unity Government, with 20 refugees having first crossed over that same evening.
Mae Sariang district chief Mr. Surachet Puinoi visited Ban Sao Hin village in Sao Hin subdistrict where soldiers from the 17th Infantry Regiment task force and 36th Ranger Forces Regiment, supported by Sao Hin Subdistrict Administrative Organization officials and the district police, were helping the refugees mostly women, children and the elderly.
Surachet distributed rice and dry food to all the refugees with these having been donated by the district Red Cross branch and the private sector.
Thai officials are speeding up the construction of temporary shelters for the refugees, who are pouring across the border non-stop, at a 10-rai plot in Ban Sao Hin Community Forest which is about three kilometres from the border and 1.5 kilometres from the Thai village.
Security officers said they were ready to help the refugees according to humanitarian principles while confirming that the ongoing fighting across the border had not affected the Thai people in any way.
Meanwhile in Khun Yuam district, officials and Red Cross staff likewise distributed donated supplies to the refugees who had taken shelter there while arranging a safe zone for them to reside in temporarily.
Karenni refugees helped by Thai officers after fleeing the fighting in Kayah state. Photos: Naewna
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