AP

Thailand says Myanmar apologized for airspace violation

Jun 30, 2022, 10:10 AM | Updated: 10:42 pm

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand said Friday that neighboring Myanmar has apologized after one of its fighter jets crossed into Thai airspace on a bombing run along the border, forcing authorities to evacuate hundreds of schoolchildren and scramble air force jets to the area.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said Thailand did not want to escalate the incident, which took place on Thursday over Phop Phra district in Thailand’s Tak province. Local authorities evacuated villages and schools in the area. Teachers at Wale School led over 200 elementary and middle school students from their classrooms to fortified buildings inside the school grounds for safety.

Video obtained by The Associated Press shows what appears to be a MiG-29 making several circles into Thai airspace over villages and schools before firing on the Myanmar side. Myanmar’s military has been fighting ethnic Karen guerillas on its side of the border with Thailand.

“The military attaches have spoken to each other, and they have apologized, and our foreign ministries have talked. This may seem like a serious incident, but it depends on us if we want to escalate this. Currently the two sides enjoy a good relationship and are able to talk,” Prayuth told reporters at a public appearance.

He added that “the most important thing is that we do have a capability to defend our sovereignty. We also must plan for the strength and modernity (of our defense) in the future. This is not a major issue.”

Thailand’s air force dispatched two U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to the area where the Mig-29 had been flying. Thai military authorities said the Myanmar jet had been providing air support to a military ground operation inside Myanmar taking place just a kilometer away from the border. Thailand said more than 500 people crossed over to the Thai side during the incident.

Fighting between Myanmar government forces and ethnic guerrillas, many of whom live in border areas, has continued for decades but has intensified since the military seized power in February last year from a democratically elected government. The fighting has sent waves of refugees from Myanmar fleeing into Thailand. They are then sent back when the fighting recedes.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

2 hours ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

1 day ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

1 day ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

2 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

3 days ago

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

4 days ago

Thailand says Myanmar apologized for airspace violation