Thai villagers have been ordered to evacuate due to the threat of cross-border shells straying into Thai territory

The danger of an imminent Military Council artillery attack on Thae Baw Boe Village and parts of the Myawaddy-Waw Lay Road, and the risk of artillery shells hitting the villages on other side of the Thai-Myanmar border has prompted the village elders in Thailand to order evacuations along their border.

Military Council troops based in Phalu Phaya Hill have been bombarding the area day and night with artillery since November 7 close to the border .This inevitably leads to villages on the Thai side fearing some stray artillery shells falling and exploding around homes.

A resident of Molychai village on the Thai side revealed that, “the villagers are worried, and they fear artillery shells fired by the Military Council may cross the border and explode in their village at any time.”

“During the previous day, there were explosions in the villages of Ba Lel Do and Thae Baw Boe when the warplanes launched airstrikes. At the moment, those fleeing the war are gathering again on the banks of the Thaungyin River. The elders of Molychai Village on the Thai side are also urging their villagers and those who live in the areas around the banks and hill farms to evacuate”, the Thai villager told KIC.

In recent days, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and their allied joint forces are preparing toencircle and trap the Military Council troops deployed around the areas of Sone See Myaing, Shwe Tha Lyaung Buddha Image Hill, Baleldo, and Two Snakes Pagoda Hill in Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) controlled- territory, causing clashes and fighting to break out every day.

The Thai villager also reported that “Everyone is worried that the artillery shells may accidentally land on the Thai side. Then houses and plantations may be destroyed. Now the village chiefs have told us to avoid holding celebrations as much as we can. In addition people living in coastal and hill farm areas where artillery rounds could be accidentally hit have also been ordered to evacuate.”

About 5000 people from around 20 villages such as Thae Baw Boe, Phalu, Kyauk Khet fleeing the war are sheltering along the Thaungyin River on the Thai-Myanmar border. The displaced people cannot return to their homes in the current situation and are still living along the banks of the river.

Those displaced people need food and other accommodations and have been facing difficulties with access to drinking water and healthcare for almost a year.

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