SA KAEO, March 23 — Some 15 ethnic Muslim Uighurs from China’s Xinjiang region were detained in the eastern province of Sa Kaeo intending to emigrate to Turkey.
A joint border patrol operation of Thai soldiers and police discovered a group of 15 Muslims refugees, 10 of whom were children, hidden in a forest 200 metres from the Thai-Cambodian border in Pa Rai subdistrict of Aranyaprathet district.
According to the initial investigation, they told Thai authorities that they were ethnic Muslim Uighurs from China’s Xinjiang region.
They claimed to have fled the region and traveled to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. They were leaving to Malaysia with Turkey their final destination.
They told authorities that there were thousands of ethnic Muslim Uighurs who traveled together with them. There were some 100 refugees staying in Cambodia waiting to enter Thailand.
They were sent to the immigration office and were to be prosecuted for illegal entry into Thailand.