Explosion hits checkpoint at Myanmar’s border with Thailand  

A large explosion believed to be a from car bomb struck an immigration checkpoint at Myanmar’s border with Thailand in Karen State’s Myawaddy Township on Saturday evening, locals told Myanmar Now. 

Photos shared on social media showed the remains of the checkpoint structure, a burned out saloon car, and a four-storey building that had been gutted by fire following the blast at the foot of the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge. 

The bomb went off at about 11pm, said a local man who is a member of a volunteer rescue team and did not want to be named. 

“The explosion was so loud that everyone in the town heard it,” he said. “Shortly after the explosion, we also heard gunshots. The locals won’t dare to leave their houses, let alone investigate the matter.”

Some residents have left the town in fear of being targeted by junta forces in the wake of the explosion, he said. 

It appears anti-junta forces were behind the blast but it is unclear if there were any casualties, he added. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. 

“The extent of damage was quite big but we still don’t know about the casualties as they’re not letting anyone get close to the bridge. That area is now heavily guarded,” he added.

The junta has not commented on the attack. 

The burned remains of a car were photographed after the explosion (Supplied)

Myawaddy Township has seen intense fighting in recent weeks between resistance fighters and the junta’s forces, with the town of Lay Kay Kaw suffering the worst of the violence. 

Earlier this month junta forces suffered heavy casualties while retaking control of a base in Myawaddy that had been seized by Karen National Union soldiers in late March. 

A four-storey building was damaged in the explosion (Supplied)

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