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More Rohingya refugees reach Thailand

BANGKOK, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- A boat carrying 67 Rohingya refugees claiming persecution in Myanmar, the second such in two days, has landed at Thailand, officials said.

Earlier 91 refugees arrived during the weekend, about two years after a similar incident in which Thailand was accused of inhumanely turning the Rohingya back to sea, CNN reported.

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The refugees were in Thai police custody in Satun Province, the report said.

"I can be anywhere, except in Myanmar. If I went back I would be dead," one of the refugees told CNN in a telephone interview, adding he had left his wife and two children in Myanmar, formerly Burma, in search of a better life.

Muhammad Fariq, 10, said he had paid a large sum to get on the boat, whose original destination was Malaysia, but the boat drifted for 15 days before reaching Thai shores.

While Thai authorities were yet to decide the fate of the refugees, a Thai police official said they probably would be returned to Myanmar.

Phuket Wan Tourism News reported Thai authorities fear if no acceptable solution is found, more such refugees may be encouraged to follow the latest arrivals.

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