About 3,000 villagers from Myanmar's southeastern Karen state fled to Thailand on Sunday following air attacks by the army on an area held by an ethnic armed group, an activist group and local media said. Myanmar's military launched air strikes on five areas in Mutraw district, near the border, including a displacement camp, the Karen Women's Organization said. "At the moment, villagers are hiding in the jungle as more than 3,000 crossed to Thailand to take refuge," a statement said. Thai PBS reported about 3,000 had reached Thailand. The strikes mark the first such air assault against the Fifth Brigade of Karen National Union (KNU), one of the country’s largest armed groups, since the military seized power in a Feburary 1 coup. An estimated one-third of Myanmar’s territory — mostly in its border regions — is controlled by a myriad of rebel groups, some of whom have their own militias. The KNU earlier Saturday had overrun a military base in southeastern Karen state, the group said, with its Facebook page displaying a cache of seized handguns and automatic weapons. AFP reported that by around 7:30 pm (1300 GMT), fighter jets had swooped into the KNU-held Hpa-pun district headquarters and opened… Read full this story
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