By CS Thana
BANGKOK (AA) - A Rohingya Muslim man has died during a police operation in Southern Thailand to recapture around 20 migrants who escaped from a detention center.
Local television channel Thai PBS reported that the Rohingya were making their way along a local road in Phang Nga early Monday morning when they were spotted by villagers who alerted authorities.
The Rohingya are reported to have escaped from the immigration office in Tambon Tham Namphud in Mueang Phang Nga at 3 a.m. (2100GMT Sunday) by cutting through iron bars in their room, scaling the roof and jumping the gates.
The man is reported to have died during what police called "an act of self-defense" as he was being apprehended.
Another escapee was caught, while the rest managed to flee into surrounding jungle.
For years, Rohingya Muslims have been using Thailand as a transit point to enter Muslim Malaysia and beyond, as they flee persecution in Myanmar.
They are often apprehended by Thai authorities and held on illegal entry offences.