The Thai PM has confirmed that 23 Thai hostages being held by Hamas are safe and will be released “soon”. Srettha Thavisin was speaking yesterday, November 6, after talks with Thai negotiators, including Songwit Noonpakdee from the Royal Thai Army.
164 Thai hostages are also being held in the Burmese border town of Laukkaing as well – read below.
According to a Nation Thailand report, Songwit says he has seen photos of the hostages and is in release talks with Hamas, via Malaysian officials. It’s understood negotiators are hoping for a one or two-day ceasefire, which would give them a window to get the hostages out of the Gaza Strip.
The PM says Thailand is relying on Malaysia acting as a go-between in talks to free the hostages. Muk Sulaiman, deputy to Parliament President Wan Muhammad Noor Matha, has reaffirmed that all 23 hostages are safe and being well looked after.
Muk is one of the key negotiators in the ongoing talks and says Iranian officials have confirmed the identity of the Thai hostages and said Hamas are preparing to release them.
According to Muk, the militant group is waiting for the best time and a safe route by which to escort the Thais out of the Gaza Strip. He adds that once such a window opens, he will be informed by Hamas, via Iran. Wan Muhammad will then travel to Iran to meet with the hostages as they are freed.
Meanwhile, Thai officials are trying to repatriate 164 Thais who are being held hostage by Burmese militants in a border town called Laukkaing in the countries far north east, on the border with China. They had been ‘trafficked’ to the area to work in illegal online call centre gangs.
Thai deputy commissioner Surachate Hakparn spent yesterday in talks at the Thai Embassy in Yangon trying to secure the sage release of the hostages but noted that they will probably have to cross into China before being flown back to Thailand
SOURCE: Nation Thailand