(Reuters), 29 March, 2021 – Thai authorities forced thousands of refugees fleeing air attacks by the army in neighbouring Myanmar to return to southeastern Karen state, two activist groups said on Monday.
Thousands fled over the weekend after fighter jets attacked villages near the Thai border held by an ethnic armed group that had attacked a military post in the wake of a Feb. 1 coup by Myanmar’s army.
David Eubank, founder of the Free Burma Rangers, said 2,009 people had been forced to return to the Ee Thu Hta displacement camp on the Myanmar side of the border at 6:15 p.m. They had been living there since they were displaced from their homes in earlier attacks.
“There’s still fighter jets over the area,” Mark Farmaner, head of Burma Campaign UK, told Reuters. “Thailand’s heartless and illegal act must stop now,” Sunai Phasuk, senior researcher on Thailand for Human Rights Watch, wrote on Twitter.