Airstrikes Force Civilians To Flee To Thailand

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Thousands of civilians displaced by recent regime airstrikes on Daw Hnoe Ku camp have been given temporary refuge by Thai authorities in Mae Hong Son Province. An 11-year-old boy was killed during the attacks that destroyed at least six houses, including a church.

Maw The Mer of the Karenni Emergency Rescue Committee said 5,027 people crossed the border after the Burma army shelled the camp in Mese Township in Karenni State at 1pm on 12 July. She said most are being housed in a designated area unless they have relatives in Thailand with whom they can stay.

One man said they fled the airstrikes at night and were unable to take any belongings with them. “We were so scared. My body was shaking at that time and I felt paralysed. I’m terrified of air raids. We’re trying to calm down to reach Thailand. I didn’t know what to do when a jet fighter flew overhead,” he says.

Maw The Mer says they need food, water and shelter to protect themselves from the rain, and non-governmental organisations, women’s organisations and social volunteer teams are providing some of that help. “Some people fled to Thailand without slippers, so they need them and clothes,” she says.

Volunteers from the Karenni Refuge Camp 1 near Mae Hong Son town is cooking rice and curry for them.

It’s unclear how long Thailand will let the new refugees stay.

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