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Refugees fleeing violence on the Burma/Thailand border


by Mitos Urgel, 8th November 2010

On Sunday at 9.30 in the evening, fighting started in the ethnic areas.

A mortar was aimed at the Rim Moie market (on the Thai side), killing 3 Thai soldiers and 2 Burmese.

More people came steaming into Mae Sot after the fighting escalated around 9 am on Monday, in the neighbouring town of Myawaddy, on the Burmese side of the border.

Burmese refugees Nov 2010

This footage was shot, about 3 km from Mae Sot, just before the main highway to the border was closed off.

A joint UNHR/NGO assessment mission was conducted today, Monday.

It appears that blankets are the real need now.

UNCHR will be the focal point for ALL coordination. It is important that assistance be given equally amongst the population to avoid disputes.

At lunch time, there were about 6,000 confirmed as having crossed the border and have become displaced, with considerable number of women and children.

More are being moved from other sites and new arrivals are still coming in. The local Thai authorities are reported to have done an amazing job - setting up shelters, a mobile clinic, a drinking water station, lighting and giving out the first meal to everyone within just a few hours. They are currently camped at the Mae Sot airport. Further influx is expected in Pophra and other areas.