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BANGKOK: The UN’s refugee agency yesterday called for the Thai government to probe reports its sailors shot at Rohingya boat people fleeing sectarian strife in Myanmar.
Citing survivors of the alleged shooting in late February, the UNHCR said at least three shots were fired by Thai sailors as they intercepted a Rohingya boat off Phang Nga, southern Thailand, and towed it further out to sea. But it was unclear “whether these were warning shots or aimed at the passengers,” it said, adding the boat had been at sea for three weeks and was low on supplies since leaving Myanmar’s unrest-hit Rakhine State. The survivors were among a group of 121 Rohingya who spoke to the UNHCR after arriving in Aceh, Indonesia on February 26.
“Survivors and local fishermen near Phuket said two dead bodies were recovered from the sea, though it was unclear if the cause of death was shooting or drowning,” it said. afp