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Border crossing reopens in Tak after Myanmar troops repel resistance forces

The Thai-Myanmar border checkpoint in Tak province’s Mae Sot district reopened on Sunday after Myanmar troops regained control of Myawaddy township.

On Saturday, the immigration checkpoint located at the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge in Ban Rim Moei village was shut following heavy fighting as Myanmar soldiers battled Karan troops and members of the People’s Defence Force (PDF).

Authorities in Myawaddy urged Thai officials to prevent Thai nationals and foreigners from crossing the border into Myanmar while fighting was underway.

One day later, Myawaddy authorities informed their Thai counterparts that travel could resume after PDF forces had been driven from the buildings in Myawaddy economic zone they had seized control of on Saturday.

Border crossing reopens in Tak after Myanmar troops repel resistance forces

Fighting broke out in the early hours of Saturday and continued throughout the day. Sporadic artillery fire could still be heard on Saturday night, but the Thai military believed the shelling was a warning to PDF troops to keep clear.

Reports said five Myanmar troops working as security officers in the economic zone were killed in fighting on Saturday and two others were injured. Some office buildings in the zone were burnt to the ground.

A Thai national working in Myanmar was among those injured on Saturday morning. The 55-year-old man, identified as Sittinon Muangsuk, was transported to Thailand for treatment.

Border crossing reopens in Tak after Myanmar troops repel resistance forces

Although the checkpoint reopened, Thais and foreign tourists did not cross the border into Myawaddy on Sunday due to safety concerns.

A joint police-military-civilian task force headed by Pol Col Monsak Kaewon, chief of Mae Sot police station, stepped up patrols of border villages in the district on Saturday.

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