Hat Yai Immigration Division 6 Chief Pol Maj Gen Thatchai Pitaneelaboot said the 200 Muslims suspected to be the Uighurs, a Muslim group from China's Xinjiang province, were rescued on Thursday from a hidden shelter in a rubber plantation near a village called Baan Klong Tor in Rattaphum district here. They are now under the care of Immigration Division 6 with help from some 30 defense volunteers.
The detained immigrants claimed that they were Turkish Muslims and wanted to move to a third country.
An investigation on their nationality is underway. The Thai authorities are coordinating with Turkish Embassy to Thailand as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and relevant agencies to help identify their nationality and then provide them temporary shelter.