Karen refugees flee across border after junta airstrike

Space invader: The stray fighter jet flying overhead and visible from Tak province, Thailand. — AP

Thailand is gearing up for an influx of Karen refugees as the Myanmar army continues bombing Karen villages in the border town of Myawaddy.

A Myanmar fighter jet bombed two villages on Saturday, killing three people and injuring three others. The injured have been sent across to Tak’s Phop Phra district for treatment.

Of those killed, one held a Thai ID card, the second a card of hilltribe people and the third a 10-year stay permit.

Refugees, meanwhile, have been streaming across the border, and as of press time, the number of people seeking shelter at the Ban Muen Rue Thai community had swollen to 255.

Separately, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that Myanmar’s military government has offered an apology for its MiG-29 fighter jet straying into Thai airspace on Thursday.

Prayut, who also doubles as the defence minister, has called on people to have faith that the Thai Army will successfully protect national sovereignty, adding the incident was “no big deal”.

The Myanmar military has been pounding Karen villages just across the Thai border since noon on Thursday, throwing people living on the Thai side into a panic. — The Nation/ANN

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