Thai FM begins urgent visit to Qatar, Egypt over hostages taken by Hamas

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Thailand’s foreign minister begins an urgent visit to Qatar and Egypt on Tuesday for talks on the fate of 22 Thais taken hostage by Hamas in its attack on Israel.

Israeli authorities say more than 1,400 people were killed in an attack on Israel launched by Hamas on October 7 from the Gaza Strip.

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In response, the Israeli military has pounded Gaza, where the health ministry says more than 8,300 have been killed – over 3,000 of them children.

More than 230 hostages are being held by Hamas in Gaza, according to the latest Israeli figures – 22 of them Thai nationals, the foreign ministry in Bangkok has said.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said Monday his government was working hard to get Thai citizens home.

He has dispatched Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara to meet the Qatari prime minister and foreign minister on Tuesday, before talks with the Egyptian foreign minister on Wednesday.

Parnpree will “discuss the situation of Thai nationals being held hostage as a result of the ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza,” the ministry said in a statement.

About 30,000 Thais were working in Israel, many in the agricultural sector, when the conflict erupted.

At least 32 Thais have been killed in the conflict and 19 wounded, according to the ministry.

“We are more like victims of the war,” Srettha told reporters before a trip to neighboring Laos on Monday.

“We have been more affected because there are more workers from Thailand in Israel than from other countries.”

Read more:

Foreign victims of deadly Hamas attack revealed

Hamas chief reveals information on hostages, plan for prisoner exchange

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