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World IN BRIEF : THAILAND

Army Denies Forcing Refugees to Return

March 01, 1997|From Times Wire Reports

The Thai army denied charges by the United States and human rights groups that troops are forcibly repatriating Karen refugees to Myanmar. But the general in charge of security in the border areas admitted that his forces had refused entry to some armed men trying to cross into Thailand with the refugees. Thousands of Karen earlier this month fled fighting between Burmese troops and guerrillas of the Karen National Union. U.S. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said Washington was "deeply concerned" that the Thai army was forcibly repatriating hundreds of Karen women, a charge seconded by London-based Amnesty International. But Maj. Gen. Thaweep Suwannasing denied this, and Karen refugee officials at border camps supported the general's claim.

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