In Burma, the junta withdrew from Myawaddy, a strategic town on the Thai border

Burmese army troops have completely withdrawn from Myawaddy, a strategic border town for trade with Thailand; This is another significant defeat for the military, which has been in difficulty for several months in the north and west of the country

In Burma, the junta withdrew from Myawaddy, a strategic town on the Thai border

Burmese army troops have completely withdrawn from Myawaddy, a strategic border town for trade with Thailand; This is another significant defeat for the military, which has been in difficulty for several months in the north and west of the country. The location is important to the Burmese junta because trade through Myawaddy over the past 12 months amounted to $1.1 billion, a vital source of revenue for the country's cash-strapped military. money – according to the Burmese Ministry of Commerce.

“We took [Burma Military Battalion] 275 at 10 p.m. last night,” Padoh Saw Taw Nee, spokesperson for the Karen National Union (KNU), one of the main rebel movements in the country, said on Thursday (April 11). junta, to Agence France-Presse (AFP), adding that some two hundred soldiers had taken refuge on a bridge linking Myawaddy to the Thai border town of Mae Sot.

A Thai immigration official told AFP that the city had "fallen" overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. AFP journalists present at the border post heard a loud noise coming from the Burmese side after a plane flew over around 10:30 a.m. local time (5:30 a.m. in Paris) on Thursday.

According to residents, fighting began around Myawaddy on Tuesday and no sound of clashes was heard during the night from Wednesday to Thursday. “The fighting has stopped since around 8 p.m. last night,” a Myawaddy resident told AFP, which is unable to independently verify the KNU's claims as journalists do not have access to Myawaddy. .

Series of defeats for the junta

On Wednesday, hundreds of frightened people lined up at the border to flee the fighting that lasted several days around Myawaddy. Thailand shares a 2,400-kilometre-long border with Myanmar, where a 2021 military coup against the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi reignited conflict between the junta and its ethnic and political opponents.

For several months, the junta has suffered a series of defeats in the north and west of the country. The number of people passing through the Thai immigration post from Burma daily has increased to around four thousand in recent days, compared to the usual 1900, an immigration official told AFP.

He added that the authorities were increasing the number of immigration agents to cope with a possible increase in the flow of arrivals. Late Wednesday, Thai 3rd Army Commander Lt. Gen. Prasarn Saengsirirak told local media that the military was “intensifying” its patrols along the border.

“We will provide humanitarian aid, but if stray bullets cross the Thai border, we will respond with light or heavy measures,” he said. On Tuesday, Thailand's foreign minister said the kingdom was ready to welcome 100,000 people fleeing the ongoing conflict. Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin spoke with her ministers about the situation at the border earlier this week.