Hat Yai Immigration Division 6 Chief Pol Maj Gen Thatchai Pitaneelaboot said the 200 Muslims suspected to be the Uighurs, a Muslim group from China’s Xinjiang province, were rescued on Thursday from a hidden shelter in a rubber plantation near a village called Baan Klong Tor in Rattaphum district here. They are now under the care of Immigration Division 6 with help from some 30 defense volunteers.

The detained immigrants claimed that they were Turkish Muslims and wanted to move to a third country.

The women in the group were wearing hijab, with a netted opening for the eyes, while the men were found wearing casual attire.

An immigration police officer noted that the group was comprised mostly of families and carried luggage like the sort used by normal international travelers.

He said their clothes were still clean, which possibly indicated that they had only just arrived in Thailand. He also said that they appeared to be Chinese looking.

ตม.รุดตรวจสอบชาวมุสลิม(อาจเป็นตุรกี-ซีเรีย) 220 คนชาย 78 หญิง 60 เด็ก 82 ซ่อนในแคมป์กลางสวนยางสงขลา UNHCRเข้าตรวจสอบช่วยเหลือแล้ว

ทั้งหมดไม่มีเอกสารหลักฐานยืนยันว่าเป็นบุคคลชาติใด อ้างว่าเป็นชาวตุรกี แต่เจ้าหน้าที่ยังไม่ปักใจเชื่อ เนื่องจากยังไม่สามารถสื่อสารกันได้ (ข่าวสด)