Myanmar’s military closed the border with Thailand at Htee Khee in Tanintharyi Region on Monday after a people’s defense force (PDF) attacked a Dawei-Htee Khee road police station.
The Dawei Township People’s Authority of the parallel National Unity Government on Sunday urged people to avoid the Dawei-Htee Khee road as the regime is using it for reinforcements and supplies and clashes could break out at any time with resistance groups.
Junta authorities did not say when the gate will reopen.
The closure of the Htee Khee gate, a major trading point and the closest crossing to the Thai capital Bangkok, comes as another blow to trade with Thailand. The clashes between junta troops and the Karen National Liberation Army and PDFs already halted trade via Myawaddy in Karen State.
Traders reliant on the Htee Khee gate are trying to trade with Thailand via Maw Taung to the south. But it is unknown if Maw Taung is open for trade, said a trader.
The regime said it closed Htee Khee out of its concern for traders’ safety but residents said the regime is planning to attack resistance forces and the Karen National Defense Organization, an armed wing of the Karen National Union.
Junta troops have been attacked along the Dawei-Htee Khee road since mid-January and have suffered losses, said residents.
Myanmar mainly exports fish, coal, lead and food to Thailand via Htee Khee and imports diesel, cooking gas, food and machinery.
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