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Thailand pushes again 1000’s fleeing Myanmar as dying toll surpasses 500

Activist group the Karen Information Center mentioned 2,009 individuals are actually internally displaced and hiding within the jungle, having been pressured again into Myanmar shortly after crossing the border with Thailand.

Thousands of individuals fled their properties in Myanmar’s southeastern Karen state Sunday, after Myanmar’s navy jets carried out a bombing raid on villages managed by an ethnic armed group. The Karen National Union (KNU), which holds giant swathes of territory within the borderlands with Thailand, had overrun a military publish close to the border, killing 10 individuals, Reuters reported.

The reported inflow of individuals fleeing into neighboring Thailand marks a brand new part within the deepening disaster for Myanmar, which was thrown into turmoil when the navy seized energy in a coup on February 1 and ousted the elected authorities of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Myanmar safety forces have killed no less than 510 individuals because the coup, with 14 shot useless on Monday together with youngsters and younger individuals, advocacy group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) mentioned.

‘We do not need to have any inflow into our space’

The KNU mentioned 3,000 individuals crossed the Salween River into Thailand, fleeing the navy’s aerial bombardments, and a pair of,000 had been pushed again.

Activist group the Karen Women’s Organization (KWO), which operates inside Karen state and refugee camps in Thailand, confirmed the air strikes had pressured 10,000 individuals within the state from their properties, and three,000 had crossed into Thailand.

CNN has not been capable of attain Thai authorities for remark, however Reuters cited Thichai Jindaluang, the governor of Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province, denying refugees had been being pushed again.

When CNN reached out to Thailand’s Foreign Ministry, they directed us to a press release printed by native media from the ministry spokesman, Tanee Sangrat, saying, “Those reports cite information solely from non-official sources without confirming the facts from official sources on the ground which affirmed that no such pushback took place.”

Ethnic Karen villagers fleeing from air attacks by Myanmar military take rest in a jungle after crossing the Myanmar-Thai border in Mae Hong Son province, Thailand, on March 28.

On Tuesday, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha mentioned officers had not pressured refugees again to Myanmar, however they’d spoken with a few of the individuals who had entered Thailand.

“After we asked questions (such as) what are their problems in your country, they said, ‘there’s no problem.’ So, since there is no problem, can they just return home for the time being? We didn’t force them (to return) with guns, we even shook hands and blessed them good luck,” Prayut mentioned in a media briefing.

“We have to take care of them based on humanitarian principle. We have a lot of experience… There is no way we will push them back if the fighting is still ongoing. But if there is no fighting now, can they return to their home?”

On Monday, Prayut mentioned his authorities didn’t need refugees to cross the border however had been making ready for a possible inflow.

Myanmar is a ‘battle zone’

Thailand has hosted tens of 1000’s of refugees in 9 important camps alongside its border with Myanmar for 3 a long time, following armed conflicts, human rights abuses and persecution of ethnic minorities by the Myanmar navy.

Most of those that crossed the border over the weekend are from Mu Traw district, the place the bombing has been concentrated. Many of these are individuals who have already fled their properties and live within the Ei Tu Hta displacement camp.

Photos offered to CNN by the KNU purport to indicate Myanmar refugees being denied entry into Thailand. And video shot by a Karen villager and printed by Reuters confirmed refugees boarding boats below the watch of Thai troopers.

Armed insurgent teams have been combating the Myanmar navy on and off for the previous 70 years within the nation’s ethnic states however combating in some areas has elevated because the February 1 coup.

Boats of ethnic Karen villagers fleeing from air attacks by Myanmar military, are seen after crossing the Thai-Myanmar border in Mae Hong Son province, Thailand on March 28.

The KNU mentioned three civilians had been killed within the strikes, which started on Saturday and continued into Monday. Military jets additionally killed no less than two members of the KNU militia Saturday.

David Eubank, founding father of the aid group Free Burma Rangers, mentioned it was the primary time in 20 years that airstrikes had been carried out within the space.

Despite the federal government’s denials, a number of human rights teams have criticized the Thai authorities.

“Forcibly sending people back into a conflict zone amounts to refoulement and is against international refugee law,” mentioned the European Karen Network, a gaggle of Karen communities from a number of international locations in Europe, in a press release Monday.

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