Six more Thai hostages back home from Gaza – foreign ministry

BANGKOK (Reuters) – A second group of Thai hostages who were released by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip were brought home on Monday, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Families of the six Thai farmer workers rushed to hug their loved ones at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

“I’m glad to be back,” said Owat Suriyasri, 40, thanking the governments of Thailand and Israel.

One of the returnees sustained injuries in the abdomen while being held by Hamas, according to Thailand’s Labour Ministry.

Before the war, about 30,000 Thai labourers, mostly from the country’s rural northeast, worked in Israel’s agriculture sector, making them one of the largest migrant worker groups in the country.

Many went to Israel seeking higher pay to send money back home to their families where some are sole providers. So far, 9,000 Thais have been repatriated.

Hamas gunmen killed 39 Thais and abducted 32 Thai labourers during the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, according to the Thai government. Over 1,200 people were killed in the attack and more than 240 taken hostage.

The first group of 17 Thai hostages returned last week, with nine remaining in captivity.

(Reporting by Artorn Pookasook, Napat Wesshasartar and Chayut Setboonsarng, Editing by Bernadette Baum)