600 students evacuated

2013-08-18 14:12

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Bangkok - Thailand planned to fly more than 600 students out of Cairo on Sunday as the political crisis in Egypt worsened and the death toll from street violence topped 750, officials said.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ordered the evacuation late on Saturday.

"There will be two chartered flights on Egypt Air leaving Cairo Sunday evening, taking 661 students first to Dubai, and from there a Thai Airways International flight will take them back to Bangkok," a Foreign Ministry official said.

Most of the students are females who requested to leave Cairo, where hundreds of people have died over the past five days in a standoff between authorities and supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi.

"Altogether there are about 1 700 Thai students in Egypt, mostly from Thailand's southern provinces," the ministry official said.

More charter flights will bring male Thai students home later this week, he said.

The three southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala are a majority-Muslim region in predominantly Buddhist Thailand.

The area has seen a rise violence since early 2004 when a long-simmering separatist movement turned more militant, resulting in more than 5 300 deaths over the past nine years.

Read more on:    egypt  |  north africa

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