UPDATE 2 - Rohingya dies as Thai police try to thwart escape bid

UPDATE 2 - Rohingya dies as Thai police try to thwart escape bid

Man reported to have been killed in self defense as police tried to round up around 21 escapees from detention center


By CS Thana

BANGKOK (AA) - A Rohingya Muslim man has died during a police operation in Southern Thailand to recapture 21 migrants who escaped from a detention center.

Police General Worawit Pranprung told Anadolu Agency on Monday that the man was shot dead as officials tried to arrest the escapees.

"The Rohingya attacked the officer who acted in self defense," he said, adding that two others had been taken into custody and will now face an extra charge of resisting arrest in addition to illegal entry.

The Rohingya 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.

On traveling along a local road in Phang Nga early Monday morning, they were spotted by villagers who alerted authorities.

As the man was shot dead and two others arrested, 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 offenses.

The 21 Rohingya who escaped Monday were among 34 being held at the center.

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