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‘We’re not a part of this battle’: Cities bordering Myanmar introduced near battle as violence spills over

“That day, the preventing alone was already scaring the kids. After which that aircraft was flying low … It was chaotic,” mentioned Mr Chatchawan Srisuwan, Wale’s village chief.

He added he “wouldn’t have dreamt” that Myanmar’s unrest would escalate to a degree the place its army would invade Thai airspace.

“Everybody was panicking and calling me, asking if that jet was Thai or theirs (Myanmar’s), as a result of it was flying above us twice after which on the third time, it was firing,” Mr Chatchawan mentioned.


Wale, located within the western Thai province of Tak, is about six hours away from the capital Bangkok by automobile.

The village is dwelling to fewer than 700 residents who share a pleasant relationship with the neighbouring city of Waw Lay in Myanmar, only a brief stroll throughout the border.

Earlier than COVID-19, villagers from the 2 sides usually traded with one another however for the reason that pandemic, the border has been formally closed.

Unofficially, it’s nonetheless simple for the neighbours to cross the invisible boundary line – the border isn’t marked by partitions or barbed wires – to commerce or meet one another.

Since Myanmar’s coup, residents on the Thai facet have been watching intently, however uneasily, on the more and more alarming scenario unfolding throughout the border.

Mr Chatchawan mentioned that whereas gunfire has often been heard for the reason that unrest started in Myanmar, nobody had anticipated issues to escalate.

Whereas nobody was injured within the fighter jet incident – solely a automobile was broken within the ensuing chaos – it left the villagers confused and offended.


Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha dismissed the incident as “not an enormous deal” and mentioned that either side had shortly resolved the problem.

“(Myanmar has) admitted that they crossed (into Thai airspace), however that wasn’t their intention. They had been making a flip and veered into Thailand a little bit bit. We scrambled our plane to warn them as customary working process,” mentioned Prayut.

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