Burmese army air raids on Karen force 3,000 people to flee to Thailand | Myanmar News

The air assault comes after the group controlling the southeastern state condemned the February 1 coup and announced its support for public resistance.

According to activists and local media, some 3,000 people from south-eastern Myanmar’s Karen state fled to neighboring Thailand following military airstrikes on an area held by an ethnic armed group.

The army launched airstrikes on five areas of Mutraw district near the border, including a camp for the displaced, the Karen Women’s Organization announced on Sunday.

“For the moment, the villagers are hiding in the jungle while more than 3,000 have crossed to Thailand to take refuge,” said a statement from the group.

“We demand an international response to the ongoing atrocities to send the message that the military can no longer act with impunity,” he added.

Thai PBS also reported that around 3,000 people had reached Thailand.

There was no immediate comment from Thai authorities.

Air assaults have been the most significant attack for years in the region controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU).

The armed group signed a ceasefire agreement in 2015, but tensions escalated after the military overthrew the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi in a February 1 coup.

The KNU and the Shan State Restoration Council, also based on the Thai border, condemned the military takeover and announced their support for public resistance.

KNU says it has sheltered hundreds of people who have fled central Myanmar in the face of an increasingly deadly crackdown on security forces in recent weeks.

The country was in turmoil since the military overthrew and detained Aung San Suu Kyi, triggering a huge uprising demanding a return to democracy.

The military defended its takeover, citing allegations of fraud in the November election which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won by landslide.

The security forces have increasingly cracked down on deadly force on demonstrations against the coup of the past few weeks, using tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition to break up rallies.

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