Thailand sends first cross-border aid to Myanmar

Thailand has sent its first batch of relief supplies to neighboring Myanmar. More and more people in the war-torn country are having to flee their homes as clashes between the military and pro-democracy forces intensify.

The shipment left Mae Sot in western Thailand on Monday. Food and medical supplies for some 20,000 people will be delivered to Myanmar through the Red Cross of both countries.

The UN humanitarian agency says the ongoing clashes have pushed up the number of internally displaced people to more than 2.8 million.

The cross-border humanitarian corridor was endorsed by ASEAN in January after the Thai government and Myanmar military agreed on the plan.

Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Thai vice minister for foreign affairs, said: "We need to send aid equally to all people who are suffering. Once this is successful, we will consider sending more supplies."

There are concerns that relief supplies may not reach people under the control of forces hostile to the Myanmar military.