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8/19/2017 9:22:30 AM

Fire in Thai refugee camp kills 62, leaves 2000 homeless

A fire swept through a remote camp in northwestern Thailand for refugees from Myanmar, killing 62 and destroying hundreds of make-shift shelters.

The fire, which broke out on Friday in Mae Hong Son province, about 900 km (550 miles) north of Bangkok, has left more than 2,000 people homeless.

Most of those living in the camp are ethnic Karens  3,500 refugees who fled fighting in Myanmar in 1992.

Karen insurgents began fighting for greater autonomy since Burma won independence from Britain in 1948. The Karen National Union signed a ceasefire with the Myanmar government in January 2012, halting one of the world"s longest-running civil wars.

Despite political reforms in Myanmar, ethnic tensions persist and the refugees do not want to return yet. Many were born in the camps and have lived there for decades.

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Fire in Thai refugee camp kills 62, leaves 2000 homelessFire in Thai refugee camp kills 62, leaves 2000 homeless

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