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Sunday February 25, 2024

41 Thais trapped by Myanmar fighting repatriated

By AFP
November 19, 2023
A member of the ethnic rebel group Taang National Liberation Army (TNLA) patrols near the Namhsan Township in Myanmar in March 2023. —AFP File
A member of the ethnic rebel group Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) patrols near the Namhsan Township in Myanmar in March 2023. —AFP File

BANGKOK: Forty-one Thais trapped in Myanmar for three weeks by an upsurge in fighting between the junta and an alliance of ethnic minority armed groups returned to the kingdom on Saturday, the Thai army said.

Fighting has raged since October 27 across northern Shan state near the Chinese border after the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Ta´ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and Arakan Army (AA) launched attacks on the military.

The Thai army said 41 Thais -- 23 men and 18 women -- working in a town near the Chinese border were repatriated Saturday to Thailand´s border province of Chiang Rai. Local media footage showed a number of Thai workers getting off a bus with their backpacks.

The army said it was also working with the kingdom´s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and humanitarian NGOs to repatriate more than 260 Thai nationals believed to work in illegal online scam centres.