Flames fall on refugee camp housing mostly women, children, and elderly

By April 1, 2013

Thailand (MNN) — A massive fire in Thailand kills 42 and ravages the homes of 2,400 Karenni refugees from Burma.

There's something fishy about how the fire started, though.

"There's some type of propellant there, which would suggest that it was started by arson," says Dyann Romeijnn with Vision Beyond Borders. Traces of phosphorus were discovered where the fire is believed to have started.

Romeijn says eye-witnesses report seeing "a low-flying helicopter that came over the refugee camp, and something burning was dropped from the helicopter."

VBB partners working near the affected Mae Surin refugee camp say police investigations are forthcoming. Pray for justice and that arsonists will be held accountable by law.

"In the past, there have been accounts of the Burmese army coming over the border and actually attacking the refugee camps with the women and children in them," Roemijn says. "They're suspicious that this also was a Burma army attack."

Most of the survivors of this fire are women, children, and the elderly. Pray for their emotional and physical healing in the aftermath of this suspected attack. Ask the Lord to keep them safe.

VBB's partners will be assessing needs and bringing aid to surviving families tomorrow. Ask the Lord to show workers who needs the most help. Pray that workers would show the love of Christ as they interact with fire survivors.

Click here to support fire relief efforts through Vision Beyond Borders.

The Karenni are one of Burma's highly-persecuted ethnic people groups. Burma's military forces have aggressively hunted the Karenni people for over 50 years, systematically trying to purge the country of them. While the total number of Karenni people is unknown, an estimated 20,000 have fled to Thailand, according to Minority Rights Group International.

Leave a Reply