65 Rohingya Muslims found shipwrecked in southern Thailand

Rohingya sits on a beach at Rawi island in Satun province Southern of Thailand Tuesday, June 11, 2019. Thai officials say they have discovered 65 ethnic Rohingya Muslim refugees who were shipwrecked and stranded in southern Thailand. (Department of National Parks Wildlife and Plant Conservation via AP)
Thai navy search a shipwrecked boat at Rawi island in Satun province Southern of Thailand Tuesday, June 11, 2019. Thai officials say they have discovered 65 ethnic Rohingya Muslim refugees who were shipwrecked and stranded in southern Thailand. (Department of National Parks Wildlife and Plant Conservation via AP)

BANGKOK — Thai officials said they discovered 65 ethnic Rohingya Muslim refugees on Tuesday who were shipwrecked and stranded in southern Thailand.

The chief of Tarutao National Marine Park, Kanjanapan Kamhaeng, said the boat carrying the Rohingya was found after several Thai and Myanmar citizens told park officials their ship had broken down. They initially denied they were transporting Rohingya.

Kanjanapan said the boat was found smashed onto a rocky shore and a preliminary check showed it was carrying 65 Rohingya and several Thai and Myanmar citizens who were identified by the Rohingya as in charge of operating the ship.

Kanjanapan said the Thai navy took the group away to be processed by immigration officials.

Navy officer Cmdr. Thanapong Sudrak said authorities will investigate whether the incident involved human trafficking.

Rohingya originate in Rakhine state in Myanmar, where they face extreme persecution by authorities and majority Buddhists, prompting their flight over the years, many on rickety boats that were sometimes pushed back into the open sea by countries such as Thailand.

Attacks by Myanmar's army in 2017 caused more than 700,000 Rohingya to flee to overcrowded refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh and elsewhere for safety.

Must Read

Bumpy beginning for Obama in China, starting on...

Sep 4, 2016

If President Barack Obama was hoping for a graceful start to his final trip to Asia as commander in...

Hong Kong election highlights rising anti-China...

Sep 4, 2016

Polls opened in Hong Kong Sunday for the specially administered Chinese city's most crucial...

Britain's May seeks out new trading relations...

Sep 4, 2016

British Prime Minister Theresa May says she intends to seize new trading opportunities for a...

Hong Kong pro-democracy candidates retain veto in...

Sep 5, 2016

A group of young Hong Kong pro-democracy activists has pulled off a stunning election victory,...

Air China removes mag with offensive article...

Sep 8, 2016

Air China says it has removed copies of its inflight magazine containing an article criticized as...