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War Zone Escape: Thai Citizens Flee Horrors of Sudan, Rescued in Heartfelt Evacuation Mission!

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The first group of 78 Thai evacuees, including 40 women and 38 men, from conflict-stricken Sudan arrived at Bangkok’s Don Muang Royal Thai Air Force Base on Thursday night. They were greeted by caretaker Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Defense Forces Chief Gen Chalermpol Srisawat, Air Force Commander ACM Alongkorn Wannarot, Foreign Affairs Minister Don Pramudwinai, Prime Minister’s secretary-general Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, and other high-ranking officials.

Gen Prayut expressed his heartfelt gratitude to all agencies involved in the successful evacuation and thanked Saudi Arabia and Egypt for their valuable assistance in evacuating and accommodating the Thai citizens. A second batch of evacuees was set to arrive on Saturday, and the prime minister conveyed his hope that the situation in Sudan would not escalate further.

Many of the evacuees were visibly exhausted from their arduous journey home, which involved taking a bus, a ship, and a plane and lasted nearly two days. Despite their fatigue, they were overjoyed and relieved to be back on Thai soil. After an initial health check-up, which revealed that three individuals needed close medical attention, all evacuees were taken to a hotel to rest. From there, they boarded a flight to Pattani airport, where vehicles were arranged to transport them the rest of the way home.

Sharing her harrowing experience in Sudan, 22-year-old student Fatiha Zeeba described the terrifying scene of dead bodies strewn across the streets and the constant clamor of bombs and war weapons. Trapped in fear on her university campus for over ten days amid overwhelmed hospitals, Zeeba was ultimately picked up by embassy officials and taken to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, before flying back to Thailand.

“I am overjoyed to be back in Thailand. I can’t wait to see my parents and relatives. However, I am also worried about my Thai friends who are still in Sudan. I hope they return home safely,” shared an emotional Fatiha.

An Airbus A340-500 plane transported the 78 evacuees from King Abdulaziz airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and landed at Wing 6 around 10 pm. Among the passengers were 73 students and five officials from the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Most of the students were studying medicine, Islamic law, and religion in Sudan.

There are 132 more Thais awaiting transportation back to their homeland. The first group of 66 has already landed in Jeddah via the Air Force C-130, while the second group of 66 evacuees is set to travel from the Port of Sudan to Jeddah by ship, potentially joined by even more individuals. Both the Thai Air Force and Foreign Affairs Ministry are closely coordinating efforts to ensure the safe evacuation of all Thai citizens. The Airbus A340-500 is expected to return to transport the remaining evacuees from Saudi Arabia, with two Air Force C-130s on standby.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Sudanese fighter jets targeted paramilitary positions in Khartoum, with deadly fighting and looting escalating in Darfur. This occurred despite the army and a rival force agreeing to an extended ceasefire deal.

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