Myanmar junta launches airstrike at rebel base near Thai border town

The Myanmar military sent two armed helicopters to launch an airstrike at a rebel base near a border town in Thailand.

Junta soldiers and members of the rebel group Karen National Union (KNU) were reportedly fighting along the border near Mae Kon Ken village in Tak province on January 14. The fighting allegedly lasted for hours, until the military deployed two fighter helicopters to rain down dozens of rockets at the rebel’s stronghold.

Footage shows the aircraft flying over Mae Kon Ken village in Tak province as loud explosions were heard from a distance. Villagers recorded white smoke rising from an area believed to be held by the KNU in Myanmar’s Myawaddy province.

Myanmar soldiers reportedly open fire into Pha Lu Noi village after the airstrike, shooting a barrage of bullets and grenades as locals scrambled to take shelter. No casualties have been reported from either side so far, but skirmishes are expected to continue in the following days.

Fighting between the armed militias and the Burmese military has intensified amid the political turmoil in Myanmar caused by the ousting of former leader Aung San Suu Kyi in February 2021.

Around the country, more than 1,300 civilians are said to have been killed during military crackdowns on protests.