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In the border village of Wale, a woman crosses over a small wooden bridge into Burma. This is one of the smallest of the border crossings. Burmese refugees had begun to return home after less than three days in Thailand. An estimated 20,000 had fled into Thailand to escape clashes in the border towns of Myawaddy and Pyaduangsu, only a day after a Burmese election which critics described as a sham..Ethnic minorities along the Thai-Burma border had warned earlier that the junta would launch a major offensive after the election, as many armed rebel groups had refused to become part of the government-controlled Border Guard Forces.