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Hamas set to release 23 Thai hostages “imminently”


An Iranian source says 23 Thai nationals being held captive in Gaza could be released soon as part of a hostage swap deal arranged between Israel and Hamas militants. World media is abuzz with stories of the imminent release of hostages, including some 26 Thais.

Thai PBS World reports that news of the deal has been covered by Times of Iran online, which says the hostage-swap deal is separate to the temporary truce brokered by Qatar and taking effect today.

Meanwhile, the Thai government is in separate talks to free its citizens believed abducted by Hamas during the October 7 attack on southern Israel. At least 1,200 people died in the attack, including Thai nationals, and around 240 were kidnapped.

Today, Hamas is expected to free some 13 women and children in exchange for Palestinian prisoners behind bars in Israel. As part of the deal, a truce has been brokered to temporarily halt the fighting and release a total of 50 hostages and 150 Palestinian prisoners.

Meanwhile, Thai PBS World reports that an unnamed Egyptian source says Iran has mediated in a deal between Hamas and the Thai government to release 23 Thai nationals. Officials in Bangkok believe 26 Thais in total were kidnapped by the militants on October 7.

The government says it has received assurances from Hamas that the Thai hostages are “safe” and will be released in the coming days.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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