The Irrawaddy and the Bangkok Post report fighting between the KNLA and the Myanmar Army (as well as their puppet DKBA forces) near Pho Phra. About 200 Karen villagers have taken refuge on the Thai side of the border. The Thai army has sent troops from Mae Sot some 40Kms (25 miles) to the north. It is therefore unlikely that the village will be directly affected, though there are likely to be even more IDP children needing care and education.
The Irrawaddy’s report begins like this:
The Thai army has sent in soldiers from its Mae Sot-based 4th Infantry division to secure its border, while fighting between the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and its breakaway group, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) continued near Pob Phra District in Thailand’s Tak Province, according to sources in the area.
The headman of the village of Phadee in Pob Phra District told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that the Thai authorities had evacuated more than 200 villagers to Roumthaipattana 8 Village until the fighting finishes.
Meanwhile, about 200 Karen villagers from Burma fled to the Thai side of the border and are currently taking refuge at the local school in Phadee, said sources.
Col Apichet Suesat, commander of the 4th Infantry division, an arm of the Naresuan Task Force, has ordered his troops to protect the villagers and defend any armed groups that flee to Thai territory, according to a report on Thai news website INN on Tuesday.
Please pray both for the general situation and for our friends in the village.
Meanwhile in less extreme news: We have just received Pastor Peacefully’s documents to apply to enrol him in a Carey distance course next semester.