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Thai PM laments deaths of 2 Thais in October 7 attack
Published on: Friday, May 17, 2024
By: AFP
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Thai PM laments deaths of 2 Thais in October 7 attack
Hamas’s Oct 7 attack resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people. (AP pic)
BANGKOK: Thai prime minister Srettha Thavisin said Friday he was “deeply saddened” by the deaths of two Thais who were killed in the Oct 7 attack on Israel and whose bodies were being held by Hamas.

The Israeli army said late Thursday that it had informed the families of the deaths of the two men, who were identified as “kidnapped Thai citizens” and earlier believed to be alive in the Gaza Strip.

There are now six Thai hostages being held in Gaza, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

“I am deeply saddened to learn that the two Thai hostages in Gaza, namely Mr Sonthaya Oakkharasri and Mr Sudthisak Rinthalak are now confirmed deceased,” Srettha said on social media platform X.

“I offer my deepest condolences to both their families,” he added.

“The Thai government will continue to do our utmost to secure the release of the remaining hostages.”

The Israeli army said Thursday that the two Thais had worked in agriculture in plantations near Beeri kibbutz, one of the communities hardest hit in the Oct 7 attack by Palestinian group Hamas on southern Israel.

Their bodies are being held by Hamas, Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said.

Thailand has about 30,000 citizens in Israel, most of whom work in the agricultural sector, where they earn significantly higher salaries as farm labourers than they would at home.

Hamas’s Oct 7 attack resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel’s military retaliation has killed at least 35,272 people, also mostly civilians, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

About 30 Thais were among the estimated 250 people taken hostage by gunmen during the cross-border raids into Israel.

Israel estimates 128 hostages remain in Gaza, including 38 the military says are dead.

Seventeen Thai hostages were released and returned to the kingdom in November last year. Another six returned home in early December.

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