The Global Release Agents Market Size, Share & Trends, Application, Regional Outlook, Competitive Strategies And Segment Forecasts for 2019 To 20

The global release agents market is expected to witness growth on account of application growth in rubber, plastics, paper, food, and concrete industries. Growing demand for bakery foods such as bread, pastries, cakes, and biscuits in light of rising health awareness and changing lifestyles in emerging markets of China and India is expected to augment market growth over the forecast period. The prime intension of incorporating release agents is to prevent the bonding of exterior materials to main products. Release agents find application in the concrete construction industry on account of preventing the adhesion of fresh concrete to the forming surface such as plywood, overlaid plywood, aluminum, or steel. These release agents are available in the form of barriers and reactive agents. Barrier agents such as diesel oil, paraffin wax, heating oil, and motor oil have the ability to prevent dissimilar particles to cling to one another by forming a barrier or physical film between surface and concrete. Increasing the application of the aforementioned barrier agents in light of their increasing availability and low price is expected to have a positive impact on the release agents market. The development of surface staining and bug holes along with high evaporation rate associated with diesel and motor oils is expected to restrict the application of barrier agents.

Reactive release agents perform their function through the chemical reaction between former and free limes comprised of fresh concrete. These reagents create a soapy film to prevent adhesion and reduce residues. Naturally derived fatty acids are mostly deployed as reactive release agents in the construction and food & beverage industries. The eco-friendly nature of fatty acids is expected to promote their application as release agents over the forecast period. Increasing depletion of crude oil and natural gas has forced chemical manufacturers to shift their focus on the development of water-based product offerings which is likely to have a positive impact on the release agents market. Release agents find application in the food & beverage industry for separating food from containers after the processes such as roasting or baking. They are finding applications in the food and beverage industry on account of providing moist surface and tendency towards preventing stickiness. Other product forms of release agents include coconut fat, soy oil, palm kernel oil, candelilla wax, lecithin, tocopherol, citric acid, and catalyst cured silicone derived from vegetable oil. Release agents are used in the plastic industry for preventing adhesion bonding to the surface during film production. Silicone release agents find application in casting and molding for providing separation of mold and reduce imperfections in the surface. The incorporation of these silicon-based products results in inducing less material waste, faster throughput, and longer life of mold and machinery.

Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing market in light of application growth of bakery and confectionery industries in China and India. Changing lifestyles and increasing health awareness in emerging economies of China, India, and Malaysia are likely to be driving factors for the growing consumption of baked foods and thus in turn may fuel release agents’ market. Robust manufacturing base of rubber in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam is expected to propel market growth over the forecast period. The Government of Mexico launched the National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) in 2014, aimed for promoting infrastructural development in different sectors such as energy, water, housing, and tourism which is expected to develop the construction industry and in turn fuel release agents market demand. Robust manufacturing base of paper & pulp in Brazil, Mexico, and Indonesia is expected to force release agents market players to keep their production sites in the vicinity.

Major release agents market players include 3M, BASF, Chem-Trend, Daikin, DuPont, Henkel, Franklynn Industries, AXEL, Avatar Corporation, and Par-Way Tryson. Refining capacity expansion in Middle East in light of supportive regulations to promote foreign investments is expected to increase the availability of motor oils and fuel oils and thus increase raw material availability for market players over the forecast period. The government of India announced Draft National chemical Policy in September 2013, intended for increasing the country’s chemical output from 3% in 2014 to 6% by 2020. This regulatory move is expected to open new market opportunities for manufacturers over the forecast period. The U.K based Ecoratio Company develops environment-friendly release agents for concrete applications and claims to perform under most diverse weather conditions and production methods.

Bitcoin jumps to $50,000, raising concerns about investor safety

  • -In a blistering rally led by endorsements from electric carmaker Tesla and Wall Street giants, Bitcoin surged past US$50,000 this week.
  • The dizzying ascent of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency has again stoked fears of a bubble.
  • The cryptocurrency has been gaining favor among corporate and institutional investors looking to diversify their investment portfolios and guard against inflation.

In a blistering rally led by endorsements from electric carmaker Tesla and Wall Street giants, Bitcoin surged past US$50,000 this week, but the dizzying ascent of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency has again stoked fears of a bubble.

Recently, the cryptocurrency has been gaining favor among corporate and institutional investors looking to diversify their investment portfolios and guard against inflation.

Bitcoin has emerged as the “new digital gold” that will soon be “added to the balance sheet of central banks”, Eric Demuth, chief executive of cryptocurrency broker Bitpanda, told AFP.

Data support this. The value of bitcoin has increased five-fold compared to a year ago, while the total value of all bitcoins has reached nearly US$1 trillion, Times of India reported.

And investors are biting.

Tesla has invested US$1.5 billion in bitcoin, and has even announced plans to soon allow customers to use it to purchase autos.

While news of Tesla’s investment fueled a bitcoin gold rush early this week, the virtual currency received a further boost, breaching US$52,000 levels on February 17, 2021, after investment fund giant BlackRock signaled interest in it.

Further, both New York-based bank BNY Mellon and credit card major MasterCard have announced plans to support bitcoin, while US software firm MicroStrategy is mulling a sale of its convertible bonds to purchase more bitcoins.

Even as industry professionals dub bitcoin as the currency of the future, the increasing interest in the cryptocurrency has market watchers worried.

“Suddenly it feels like 2017 again when everyone wanted (to) … ride the crypto wave,” OANDA analyst Craig Erlam was quoted as saying by Times of India.

After surging from US$1,000 to nearly US$20,000 in just 12 months in 2017, the currency had swung wildly before slipping below US$5,000 by October, 2018.

“If companies’ fundamentals are going to become closely tied to movements in bitcoin because they have suddenly become speculators on the side, we are going to be in bubble territory before you know it,” Erlam cautioned.

His skepticism is shared by European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde, who has said bitcoin is “not a currency” but a “highly speculative” instrument that needs global regulation.

Indeed, central banks have remained wary of bitcoin, given that it functions in an unregulated environment, even as several of them have unveiled plans for bank-backed digital units.

European companies have also been slower to adopt the virtual currency, compared to their US counterparts.

According to cryptocurrency data provider ByteTree, Europe represents just ten per cent of bitcoin purchases from investment funds.

“The difference between the US and Europe in that regard is the same, with pretty much any kind of adapting to new technology. It always takes just a bit longer. In the US, they started two years ago,” said Bitpanda’s Demuth.

“Bitcoin is an asset that is incredibly volatile and is very risky,” professor Matthieu Bouvard at the Toulouse School of Economics told AFP.

“At the same time, we have been saying for ten years that bitcoin will collapse — but it’s still there,” he said, adding that the unit may become less volatile as demand widens.

Iheanacho tipped to wreck Southampton

Adrian Clarke said Nigerian Kelechi Iheanacho is Premier League’s most clinical and in-form striker ahead of today’s trip to Southampton.

Iheanacho has scored 14 goals in his last 14 appearances for Leicester City in all competitions, finding the net nine times across his last seven top-flight starts.

For the first time since joining Leicester, Iheanacho is enjoying an extended run up front alongside Jamie Vardy and revelling in Brendan Rodgers’ change from a 4-2-3-1 to a 3-4-1-2 formation.

Southampton will need to be aware of Iheanacho’s threat today.

Iheanacho reached the 10-goal mark in a season for the first time in his Premier League career when he netted the winner at home against Crystal Palace on Monday.

His stats compare favourably with the division’s other leading strikers.

The Nigerian is scoring at a faster rate than anybody else with 10 or more goals this term, and no other player on that list boasts a better conversion rate.

While Vardy has struggled for goals, scoring only twice since Christmas, he deserves enormous credit for helping Iheanacho to blossom.

Vardy made trademark sprints behind defenders down the left wing and produced perfect low crosses to set up Iheanacho for two simple finishes against Sheffield United.

Iheanacho also scored in identical fashion against West Bromwich Albion thanks to the hard work of his team-mate.

Vardy and Iheanacho work well in this regard, creating space with subtle runs.

If Iheanacho continues this outstanding run of form, his goals will fire third-placed Leicester back into Europe and may even win them silverware.

Stampede at Israel Religious Celebration Kills at Least 44

JERUSALEM — A stampede early Friday at a mountainside religious celebration in Israel that drew tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews left at least 44 people dead and scores more injured.

By some estimates, about 100,000 people were crammed together late Thursday to celebrate a holiday on Mount Meron in northern Israel, despite warnings from the authorities about the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

The deadly crush began around 1 a.m. on Friday, as celebrants began to pour out of a section of a compound where festivities were being held. The death toll of 44, released later by the Health Ministry, made it one of the worst civilian disasters in Israeli history.

Magen David Adom, the national ambulance service, said early Friday that it had treated 150 injured people. It posted a video on Twitter that showed a fleet of ambulances, red sirens flashing, waiting to evacuate the wounded.

“A terrible disaster,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s national security adviser, and Emanuele Giaufret, the European Union’s ambassador, offered condolences on Twitter to families of the victims.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews traditionally gather at Mount Meron for the holiday, Lag b’Omer, to dance and make bonfires around the tomb of a prominent rabbi from antiquity. Critics have warned for years that the site’s patchy infrastructure cannot safely handle large crowds.

A video said to have been taken right before the stampede on Friday showed a mass of people in ecstatic celebration, moving in unison to the music.

Early accounts of what led to the stampede varied.

Initial reports indicated that a grandstand had collapsed. But as details emerged, it appeared that the crush had occurred after celebrants slipped on stone steps leading into a narrow passageway with a metal-floored slope, setting off what the news site Ynet described as a “human avalanche.”

One of the injured, Chaim Vertheimer, said that the slope had become slippery from spilled water and grape juice.

“For some reason there was sudden pressure at this point and people stopped, but more people kept coming down,” Mr. Vertheimer told Ynet, speaking from his hospital bed in the holy city of Safed. “People were not breathing. I remember hundreds of people screaming ‘I can’t breathe’.”

Some rescue workers attributed the tragedy to the sheer volume of people who had gathered at Mount Meron. Television images from the scene showed shoes, hats, plastic bottles and other debris littering the passageway after it was evacuated. A metal hand rail, meant to help people steady themselves as they walked down the slippery slope, had collapsed.

The site around the rabbi’s tomb had been divided into separate sections in an apparent effort to contain and control the crowds. But as the death toll climbed on Friday morning, questions arose about poor planning and possible negligence.

Footage shot as the disaster unfolded showed police officers trying to stop people from fleeing the scene. That could have been because the officers did not immediately realize the extent of the danger, or because they wanted to prevent the stampede from spilling into other areas of the compound.

Television images also showed a side door in the evacuated passageway that had been locked shut.

Amir Ohana, the minister of public security from Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud party, who oversees the police, had been at the event earlier on Thursday evening. After the stampede, he wrote on Twitter that the police chief was on his way to the scene.

Eli Levy, a spokesman for the police, said an investigation was underway but that it was too early to apportion blame or speak of negligence. He also cautioned against drawing conclusions from isolated video clips. Mr. Levy added that despite calls to evacuate the mountain, some celebrants had refused to leave or tried to make their way back.

On Thursday, before the stampede, the Israeli police said they had arrested two people for disrupting officers’ efforts to keep order at the site. But the crowd was so vast, the police said, that they could not make people obey coronavirus restrictions.

However it unfolded, by the time the stampede was over, a scene of joy had transformed into one of horror.

One eyewitness likened it to a war zone, telling Channel 12 TV that he had seen the bodies of two dead children. Images from the disaster scene showed bodies on stretchers, covered with foil blankets.

The disaster’s aftermath was chaotic in part because the cellular phone network in the area collapsed, leaving parents frantically searching for their children.

Amid the chaos, as medics tried to reach the injured, prominent Israeli rabbis remained onstage, trying to restore calm by reading psalms for the wounded.

The annual gathering on Mount Meron, which is in the Galilee, takes place near the mystical city of Safed. The Lag b’Omer holiday is linked in Jewish tradition to the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Romans in the first century A.D.

Each year, large numbers of ultra-Orthodox and traditional Jews make the pilgrimage to the mountain for days of festivities. They light bonfires around the grave site of a second-century sage, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, in the hope that they will receive his blessings on the anniversary of his death.

The pilgrimage was held this year despite warnings from Israeli health officials that it could become a Covid-19 superspreader event. That is what appears to have happened in India this month when a vast Hindu celebration was permitted to take place.

Last year, the Israeli authorities arrested over 300 people at the Lag b’Omer celebration after large crowds gathered in defiance of coronavirus restrictions, ignoring police checkpoints on roads. Some were reported to have thrown stones and other objects at police officers who tried to control the crowd.

About 56 percent of the Israeli population had been fully vaccinated for Covid-19 as of Thursday, according to a New York Times database, and the country’s swift inoculation campaign and plummeting infection rates have allowed it to take rapid steps back toward normalcy. Earlier this month, Israel lifted its outdoor mask mandate and fully reopened schools for the first time since September.
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But there are still restrictions in place, and the gathering at Mount Meron on Thursday, though smaller than similar ones in recent years, was described as the largest in Israel since the start of the pandemic. Buses were still making their way to the mountain when the deadly crush began, and thousands more people had been expected to arrive on Friday.

Isabel Kershner reported from Jerusalem, Eric Nagourney from New York and Mike Ives from Hong Kong.

Irit Pazner Garshowitz contributed reporting from Jerusalem.

Cardi B Name Drops Her DaughterKulture, 2, On New DJ Khaled Collab &Fans Freak

Cardi B has gone from making those “money moves” to getting that “Big Paper,” and she celebrated this success on DJ Khaled’s new album. In “Big Paper,” released on Friday as part of Khaled Khaled, Cardi reunites with the producer for another track, and this one is a message to all her haters: “I get big paper, so I deal with big haters.” A universal truth! Cardi even name dropped her and Offset‘s two-year-old daughter, Kulture, for one of her disses.

“I son b–ches, move Kulture out thе car seat,” Cardi raps in one verse, which had fans talking. “Cardi had to be pissed,” one fan tweeted after quoting the diss, while another fan quoted the same line and wrote, “Cardi went crazy on Big Paper!”

It’s hard to imagine that Khaled Khaled was almost released without this Cardi feature. DJ Khaled announced the tracklisting on Tuesday (Apr. 27), and the album was already overflowing with A-level features: Post Malone, Megan Thee Stallion, Justin Bieber, DaBaby, Lil Baby, A Boogie Wit A Hoodie, Rick Ross, Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, and a track that featured both Nas and JAY-Z. That alone is an insane level of features, but on Thursday (Apr. 29), Khaled said that Cardi got her vocals in on time, and “Big Paper” would be part of the new project.

This song marks the third time Cardi and Khaled have teamed up. They previously worked together on “Dinero,” Jennifer Lopez’s 2018 track, as well as Khaled’s “Wish Wish” in 2019 (which featured 21 Savage, who joined Justin Bieber on “Let It Go” on Khaled Khaled.) “Big Paper” is Cardi’s second major song of 2021, the first being the chart-topping “Up.”

Released in February, “Up” is presumably a song from Cardi’s highly anticipated follow-up to Invasion of Privacy, her debut solo album. It’s been almost three years since Invasion was unleashed, and Cardi told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe that she intended to drop a follow-up in 2020, but she wasn’t feeling it. “I really wanted to put out an album last year, but it was like, ‘I feel like I don’t have the right songs.’ I have recorded so many songs. I think I’ve got like 50 songs recorded, and I’m just still not satisfied,” she told the DJ after “UP” was released. “If I’m not satisfied, I’m just not satisfied, but I really want to put out an album this year. I feel like I have no choice now. Now, I feel like I exceeded my limit of holding. I just need to stop with the fear.”

“I’ve got like… Three potential intros, and it’s just like, are ‘They good enough? Are they explaining everything that I want to explain?’ It’s just a lot. I just feel like I’m just not satisfied anymore because it’s like the expectations be so high,” she added. Perhaps the reception to “Paper Money” might help quell some fears, especially if it finds success as a single. “Wish Wish” cracked the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 (and reached No. 8 and No. 6, respectively, on the US R&B/Hip-Hop and U.S. Rap charts.) The song went on to be certified Platinum. Fans will have to see if “Big Paper” makes similar moves if and when it’s put out.

‘No More’: Sen. Ted Cruz Stops Accepting Corporate PAC Contributions

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is vowing that he no longer will accept campaign contributions from corporate political action committees and urges colleagues to do the same.

Corporations have consistently attacked conservative values while expecting Republicans to grant them political favors, Cruz wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Wednesday evening. The Texas Republican said “woke CEOs” like Republicans until any sign of controversy is sparked online, causing them to run away.

“For too long, Republicans have allowed the left and their big-business allies to attack our values with no response,” Cruz wrote in the op-ed. “We’ve allowed them to ship jobs overseas, attack gun rights, and destroy our energy companies. We’ve let them smear Republicans without paying any price.”

“To them I say: When the time comes that you need help with a tax break or a regulatory change, I hope the Democrats take your calls, because we may not. Starting today, we won’t take your money either,” Cruz wrote.

Since taking office in 2013, Cruz has accepted $2.6 million from corporate PACs, he said.

Cruz is the latest Republican elected official to send a warning to “woke” corporations, urging them to stop taking conservatives for granted.

Last week, a group of seven House Republicans pledged to stop accepting contributions from Big Tech companies, including Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Twitter, which they said censor conservative voices online.

“This is going to be a litmus test for conservatives,” a Republican campaign official told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

In March, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., became the highest-profile Republican to endorse the effort to unionize an Amazon warehouse in Alabama. Rubio argued that Amazon and the wider business community shouldn’t expect Republican support when they routinely attack conservatives in the culture war.

“For decades, companies like Amazon have been allies of the left in the culture war, but when their bottom line is threatened they turn to conservatives to save them,” Rubio wrote in USA Today. “But the days of conservatives being taken for granted by the business community are over.”

Senior journalist Rohit Sardana passes away due to heart attack, had recently recovered from COVID-19

New Delhi: Rohit Sardana, senior journalist and one of the top anchors of Hindi news channel Aaj Tak, passed away on Friday, according to people close to him.

Rajdeep Sardesai took to Twitter and wrote, “More terrible news friends. Well known Tv news anchor Rohit Sardana has passed away. Had a heart attack this morning. Deep condolences to his family. RIP.”

Sardana had joined Aaj Tak in 2017 after he left Zee News. He hosted the debate show “Dangal” on Aaj Tak.

Sardana was a recipient of the 2018 Ganesh Vidyarthi Puraskar Award. He was among the most popular faces of TV news journalism in India.

After the news of death of Sardana, condolences started pouring in.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala in a tweet said, “Deeply saddened and shocked to hear about the demise of Aaj Tak journalist Rohit Sardana. It’s simply unbelievable. Rohit had recovered from Covid-19 and was back at work. My heartfelt condolences to the family members and Aaj Tak group.”

Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill also took to Twitter and wrote, “Completely shocked on hearing the news about passing away of my dear friend Rohit Sardana – spoke to him last Sunday and he was in great spirits!! Still can’t come to terms with this – will forever cherish our after debate conversations, rest in peace “bhaji”.”

Britain to host 2022 vaccine summit to prepare for future pandemics

Britain said on Friday it would host a summit in 2022 to raise money for vaccine research and development to support an international coalition seeking to speed up the production of shots for future diseases.

Britain is using its presidency of the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations to highlight the need to prepare for future pandemics in light of the devastating consequences of the coronavirus crisis.

Britain said the summit with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) next year would support the body`s goal of cutting the development time for new vaccines to 100 days in future pandemics.

“We look forward to working with CEPI to speed up vaccine development, creating a global solution to ensure we`re better prepared for future pandemics,” health minister Matt Hancock said.

The summit is aimed at raising investment from the international community, though there was no immediate word on which governments or organisations would be invited to attend.

CEPI, a partnership created in 2017 between public, private, philanthropic and civil society groups, played a leading role in funding early development of a range of candidate vaccines against COVID-19.

Britain said global health would be on the agenda of a May meeting of G7 foreign ministers, and it would urge international partners to work to strengthen global health security.

“Now is a moment to capitalise on the rare alignment of political will, practical experience, and technical and scientific progress emerging from COVID-19 to prevent such devastation happening again,” said Richard Hatchett, Chief Executive of CEPI.

“CEPI has laid out an ambitious plan that aims to dramatically reduce or eliminate the risk of future pandemics and the UK has embraced the central pillar of that plan – the aspiration to compress vaccine development timelines to as little as 100 days – as part of its G7 agenda.”

Workforce Management Applications Software Global Market Report – Top Companies and Crucial Challenges

The global Workforce Management Applications Software market report provided by Global Market Monitor analyzes the industry and major market trends in detail, and divides the market size by volume and value according to application types and geographic locations.

Competition Analysis

Major competitors of the global Workforce Management Applications Software market include:
SAP SE
Oracle Corporation
BambooHR LLC
Replicon Inc.
Reflexis Systems Inc.
Active Operations Management International LLP
NICE Systems Ltd.
Kronos Incorporated
Infor Inc
WorkForce Software LLC.
IBM Corporation
Verint Systems Inc
SISQUAL
JDA Software Group Inc.
DVSAnalytics, Inc.

Application Segmentation
Large Enterprises (1000+ Users)
Medium-aized Enterprise (499-1000 Users)
Small Enterprises (1-499 Users)

Worldwide Workforce Management Applications Software Market by Type:
Cloud-based
On-premises

Table of Content

1 Report Overview
1.1 Product Definition and Scope
1.2 PEST (Political, Economic, Social and Technological) Analysis of Workforce Management Applications
Software Market

2 Market Trends and Competitive Landscape
3 Segmentation of Workforce Management Applications Software Market by Types
4 Segmentation of Workforce Management Applications Software Market by End-Users
5 Market Analysis by Major Regions
6 Product Commodity of Workforce Management Applications Software Market in Major Countries
7 North America Workforce Management Applications Software Landscape Analysis
8 Europe Workforce Management Applications Software Landscape Analysis
9 Asia Pacific Workforce Management Applications Software Landscape Analysis
10 Latin America, Middle East & Africa Workforce Management Applications Software Landscape Analysis
11 Major Players Profile

Key Regions Overview

The report covers the major countries analysis in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the rest of the world. Furthermore, policy mobilization, social dynamics, development trends, and economic development in these countries are also taken into consideration.

Workforce Management Applications Software Market Intended Audience:
– Workforce Management Applications Software manufacturers
– Workforce Management Applications Software traders, distributors, and suppliers
– Workforce Management Applications Software industry associations
– Product managers, Workforce Management Applications Software industry administrator, C-level executives of the industries
– Market Research and consulting firms

Report Spotlights

Detailed overview of market
Changing market dynamics in the industry
In-depth market segmentation
Historical, current and projected market size in terms of volume and value
Recent industry trends and developments

Competitive landscape

Strategies of key players and products offered
Potential and niche segments, geographical regions exhibiting promising growth
A neutral perspective on market performance
Must-have information for market players to sustain and enhance their market footprints

About Global Market Monitor

Global Market Monitor is a professional modern consulting company, engaged in three major business categories such as market research services, business advisory, technology consulting.
We always maintain the win-win spirit, reliable quality and the vision of keeping pace with The Times, to help enterprises achieve revenue growth, cost reduction, and efficiency improvement, and significantly avoid operational risks, to achieve lean growth. Global Market Monitor has provided professional market research, investment consulting, and competitive intelligence services to thousands of organizations, including start-ups, government agencies, banks, research institutes, industry associations, consulting firms, and investment firms.

Contact
Global Market Monitor
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Name: Rebecca Hall
Phone: + 1 (347) 467 7721

Thousands poised to flee to Thailand due to violence in Myanmar

Thousands of ethnic Karen villagers in Myanmar are poised to cross into Thailand on Friday if, as expected, fighting intensifies between the Myanmar army and Karen fighters, joining those who have already escaped the turmoil that followed a February 1 coup.

Karen rebels and the Myanmar army have clashed near the Thai border in the weeks since Myanmar’s generals deposed an elected government led by democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi, displacing villagers on both sides of the border.

“People say the Burmese will come and shoot us, so we fled here,” Chu Wah, a Karen villager who crossed over to Thailand with his family this week from the Ee Thu Hta displacement camp in Myanmar, told the Reuters news agency.

“I had to flee across the river,” Chu Wah said, referring to the Salween river that forms the border in the area.

The Karen Peace Support Network says thousands of villagers are taking shelter on the Myanmar side of the Salween and they will flee to Thailand if the fighting escalates.

“In coming days, more than 8,000 Karen along the Salween river will have to flee to Thailand. We hope that the Thai army will help them escape the war,” the group said in a post on Facebook.

Karen fighters on Tuesday overran a Myanmar army unit on the west bank of the Salween in a pre-dawn attack. The Karen said 13 soldiers and three of their fighters were killed. The Myanmar military responded with air raids in several areas near the Thai border.

Restricted border access

Thailand’s foreign ministry spokesman said 2,267 civilians had crossed into Thailand as of early Friday since the latest round of conflict began. Thailand has reinforced its forces and restricted access to the border.

The inhabitants of two Thai villages close to the border have also been displaced, ministry spokesman Tanee Sangrat told a briefing, with 220 people seeking refuge deeper in Thai territory for safety.

“The situation has escalated so we can’t go back,” said Warong Tisakul, 33, a Thai villager from Mae Sam Laep, a settlement, now abandoned, opposite the Myanmar army post attacked this week.

“Security officials won’t let us, we can’t go back.”