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Myanmar troops fire warning shots at boat carrying Thai border officials

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BANGKOK (Reuters) - Myanmar's military fired warning shots at a civilian boat carrying Thai border patrol officers, security sources and a resident said on Friday, amid heightened tensions in border areas since the junta seized power nearly three months ago.


Thursday's shooting took place near the Thai village of Tha Ta Fung in Mae Hong Son province, near where thousands of ethnic Karen from Myanmar fled military air strikes last month.


Thailand prevented most from entering its territory and tens of thousands are sheltering in the jungle on the Myanmar side. Humanitarian groups say Myanmar forces have also opened fire on boats carrying aid to the displaced in recent weeks.


A spokesman for Myanmar’s junta did not answer phone calls seeking comment on the incident.


The Thai Ministry of Defence said all agencies under the ministry and the armed forces had been instructed to "be ready to handle problems and the impact from the violent situation and fighting in border areas."


The two security sources said no one was injured in the shooting at the boat, which had hoisted the Thai flag.


"The Myanmar military unit was concerned about boats sending supplies to their opponents on the other side so they signalled the boat for inspection," one of the sources told Reuters, adding that Myanmar officers had searched the vessel.


Jumi, 49, a restaurant owner in the area, said the shots were fired into the water beside the boat on the Salween river.


"People are very frightened by these shootings and they don’t want to take their boats out," she said.


The military has attempted to crush protests across Myanmar against its Feb. 1 coup, killing hundreds and fighting with ethnic groups along the border has also escalated.


Southeast Asian leaders, including Myanmar’s junta chief Min Aung Hlaing, are due to meet in Indonesia on Saturday for talks on the crisis, which analysts fear could turn into an all-out civil war.


Some of Myanmar’s myriad ethnic armed groups, including the Karen National Union (KNU), which controls territory on the Thai border, have vowed to back the protesters and help overturn the coup.


Padoh Saw Taw Nee, the KNU's head of foreign affairs, said in a message the shooting showed Myanmar’s military was "very aggressive and arrogant".



-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-04-23
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5 minutes ago, sammieuk1 said:

Maybe it was just a case of being a bad shot with no warning given send in the general to win another medal 🤔



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10 hours ago, bluesofa said:

I wonder who tried to scratch the other's eyes out first?

They'll send in the Thai navy seals soon... that'll sort it out.

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6 hours ago, Flying Saucage said:


Understand your point, and agree. Both armies are like cancer for their countries. They don't protect their own countries, they rape and damage and destroy it.


However, they will never fight against each other anymore. Today, their leaders are brothers, brothers in arms. Together they make big business and big money, often dirty money from dubious businesses. Their interests are the same, and their opponents are their citizens.


I predict that soon, or maybe it happens secretly already, they will join and fight together against refugees from Myanmar. The Thai side will do this simply as a favour to their Burmese buddies when they are asked. The Thais did similar things some years ago already against Rohingya refugees.


Ugly, but likely. The world must watch.

Watching will most likely not help anything🙄

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12 hours ago, Dogmatix said:

"A spokesman for Myanmar’s junta did not answer phone calls seeking comment on the incident."


Surprise, surprise.  Where are the tough Thai generals defending their territory? They should issue a strict warning and return fire on the Burmese scumbags if they shoot at Thai boats again. A couple of belt from a .50 cal across the river would sort the bastards out.

And who would issue the order to do that, as a couple of shots were fired towards the Thai side, all the Thai brass would be at least 10 K back from that area within minutes. 

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So "warning" shots fired into the water beside the boat. Then Myanmar troops  searched the boat which was displaying the Thai flag.

On which side of the river border was this boat?

No small detail in that question !

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according to bangkok post, this incident took place right on front of burmese military base.

Thai border police was in a private boat, but displaying 2 national flags.

they were escorting one civilian boat, which probably rather took a hitchhike along police boat.

Most probably their were close to thai river bank.

After 2 warning shots police boat moored at the military base pier for about 30 minutes.



looks like trigger happy army is terrorising civilians, forcing them to take their boat onshore and forbidding any movement. They are shooting at boats with humanitarian aid

Edited by internationalism
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In Mae Sot the first week of April, we drove down to the onramp of the "Friendship Bridge" which has been closed for some time. There were people around outside, but trees in the way meant they and we could not see the river. I said let's get out and walk down to the river to look at Burma over there. I was told we could not, because Burmese soldiers on the other side were in the habit of taking potshots at persons in the open on the Thai side. (I haven't had a gun pointed at me for a long time, never been shot at and would rather pass.) Otherwise things were quiet; I was told the refugee crisis is further north around Mae Sariang. 

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12 hours ago, HOAX said:

Careful what you wish for.


No need to escalate the situation unnecessarily. The last thing Thailand need is trigger happy rambo generals.


Considering the fact that the political situation in Thailand is still very unstable, a conflict with Myanmar would also escalate internal conflicts in Thailand with parties and groups waking up and start grabbing for opportunities. Myanmar's fraction groups is a perfect source for motivation for them.


Shouldn't forget it's only a few years since last time we had armed conflicts. In 2010, when I first arrived in Thailand, there were intense shooting and bombing in multiple cities, before the 2014 military coup, and there's been a number of episodes in between, as well as continuously for 70 years before that. You'd be naive to think that couldn't happen again. It's just a few months since someone threw a pipe bomb during the protests in BKK. In fact, as late as March this year there has been politically motivated shootings. As evident, there are plenty of number of sleeping cells around just waiting for their moments.


I'd say let's de-escalate, not escalate.

Despite the loathing I feel for the cowardly tatmadaw, its murderous soldiers and their trinket-covered generals, I have to agree with you. 

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2 hours ago, Misterwhisper said:

Just dispatch a punitive expeditionary force into Myanmar comprising entirely of Thai generals. They surely have enough of these -- and they are all expendable anyway.

What, to dispense well wishes, they wouldn't be capable of anything else. 

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