Six Thai hostages arrive home after release by Hamas

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Six Thai hostages kidnapped and held for weeks in the Gaza Strip by Hamas arrived back in the kingdom on Monday, officials said.

Tens of thousands of Thais were working in Israel, mostly in the agricultural sector, when Palestinian militants poured over the border on October 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping roughly 240, according to Israeli authorities.

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At least 32 Thais were abducted by Hamas, with Bangkok’s foreign ministry and Thai Muslim groups working to negotiate their release.

Seventeen returned last week and on Monday six more landed at the capital’s Suvarnabhumi airport at around 2:00 pm (0700 GMT) after weeks in captivity.

Since their release by Hamas, the six have been recuperating at a hospital in Israel as authorities made preparations to fly them home.

Five of the former hostages are expected to transfer immediately to their home cities around the kingdom, according to the foreign ministry.

The returnees were released during a temporary truce that saw scores of people released before it expired on December 1.

Another nine Thais are still among the hostages taken by Palestinian militants, according to Bangkok’s foreign ministry.

Israel has responded to Hamas’s October 7 attack with a massive campaign of air, artillery and naval strikes alongside a ground offensive into Gaza, killing more than 15,500 people, mostly civilians, according to Palestinian officials.

Thailand had 30,000 citizens in Israel when the raid occurred, the majority of them migrant workers from poorer provinces in the kingdom’s northeast.

Thirty-nine Thais have been killed and 19 wounded in the war, with the kingdom evacuating more than 8,500 of its people, according to Thailand’s foreign ministry.

Read more:

Thai hostages freed by Hamas return to Bangkok: Foreign ministry

Thailand welcomes release of Thai hostages taken by Hamas in Israel

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