Thai-Myanmar border situation remains unsettled as clashes resurface after three-day hiatus

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The incidents have occurred near the second Friendship Bridge, located on the Myanmar side of Myawaddy town. This area, once deemed secure by the 275th Battalion, has now become the last stronghold after the opposition group’s recent attacks led to its defeat a week ago.

The situation at the Thai-Myanmar border in Mae Sot District, Tak Province, remains volatile as sounds of gunfire and explosions from clashes between Karen groups and Myanmar troops have been resurfaced after a three-day hiatus.

The explosions have been heard almost ten times in succession, along with sporadic gunfire from the clashes.



These incidents have occurred near the second Friendship Bridge, located on the Myanmar side of Myawaddy town. This area, once deemed secure by the 275th Battalion, has now become the last stronghold after the opposition group’s recent attacks led to its defeat a week ago.

Reports suggest that the Myanmar troops stationed there may now number fewer than a hundred, after about a hundred injured soldiers were sent for treatment in Thailand over the past three to four days, with the remaining soldiers attempting to hold onto the last stronghold while awaiting reinforcements.


The first Friendship Bridge checkpoint remains open for regular civilian crossings and some people from Myawaddy working in Thailand are still crossing the border back home due to concern over the welfare of their relatives on the Myanmar side.

However, the opposing group is relentless in their attacks, with clashes occurring this morning, marking the first confrontation in three days.

During a lull in gunfire, it is anticipated that the ethnic armed groups may have diverted their forces to ambush the reinforcements of Myanmar troops arriving in Kawkareik, approximately 40 kilometers from Myawaddy.




Meanwhile, the first Friendship Bridge checkpoint remains open for regular civilian crossings.  Some people from Myawaddy working in Thailand are still crossing the border back home due to concern over the welfare of their relatives on the Myanmar side.

For instance, a young man travelling from Bangkok is considering crossing to check on a his grandfather who is ill but hesitates due to the uncertainty of returning to Thailand, given reports of understaffing and disrupted border documentation procedures on the Myawaddy side.



Reports suggest that the Myanmar troops stationed there may now number fewer than a hundred, after about a hundred injured soldiers were sent for treatment in Thailand over the past three to four days, with the remaining soldiers attempting to hold onto the last stronghold while awaiting reinforcements.

As for the nearly 3,000 refugees who have fled the conflict and crossed into Thailand over the past week, most have begun returning to Myawaddy in a continuous stream, leaving around 900 still sheltering in Thailand.

This afternoon, the Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs is expected to visit the Mae Sot border area to assess the situation and strategize on how to handle any further escalation of the conflict in Myanmar. (TNA)