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Tears and trauma as Thai evacuees return from Israel

BANGKOK: The first flight of Thai evacuees fleeing the conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas landed in Bangkok on Thursday (Oct 12), with several recounting harrowing escapes as they were reunited with tearful family members.

Worried families gathered at the airport hours before the arrival of a flight carrying 41 Thais, including 15 evacuees, who were flown out with assistance from their country’s diplomats.

Around 30,000 Thais work in Israel, mostly in the agriculture sector, according to Bangkok’s labour ministry.

Two returning workers were in wheelchairs, their faces tired after the long journey home.

“I thought to myself I wouldn’t survive. They shot continuously like in a film,” Katchakorn Pudtason told reporters at the airport.

“The fighting was so intense that my employer let us take shelter at his home,” he added.

“He told me the situation was easing and when I tried to escape I heard the gunshots behind me and I realised that I was shot in the knee”.

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