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Myanmar's militants intrude Thai border village
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Some 100 armed militants of a leading ethnic Karen rebel group from Myanmar entered a Thai northern border village Saturday, and damaged properties in the village head's house in revenge for an earlier conflict with local villagers which caused deaths of two of the group's militants, Thai military sources told Xinhua.

The soldiers from the Karen National Liberation Army, a military branch of the minority-ethnic rebel group Karen National Union (KNU), entered the village in Thai northern province of Tak bordering Myanmar on Saturday and stayed the whole night until the Thai soldiers stationed at the border pushed them back to the Myanmar soil around noon, the sources said.

The rebel Karen soldiers intruded the house of the village head and damaged properties in it including a car. No casualties were caused during the intrusion, except a Thai man slightly injured when he encountered with the Karen soldiers who blocked the road accessing the village head's house. Most villagers have fled their homes ahead of the Karen soldiers' entry.

The intrusion was believed due to a recent conflict in the village in which two soldiers from the Karen group entered the Thai soil to buy supplies and were engaged with a quarrel with local teenagers. The soldiers reportedly turned out a hand grenade, which fell onto the ground and exploded, killing the two soldiers on the spot, according to the Thai military.

The Thai authorities claimed it was an accident, but the rebel group was incited at it and made the intrusion into the village for revenge.

The KNU is a leading armed ethnic rebel Karen group active in the Myanmar-Thai border jungles who has been engaged in guerrilla fight with Myanmar's military government for decades.

(Xinhua News Agency October 4, 2008)

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