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Thai Authorities Refuse Entry to Cambodian Muslims


Thai military officials say they have refused a group of Cambodian Muslims entry into the country for security reasons amid unrest in the country's Muslim-dominated south.

A military spokesman said a group of 86 Cambodians was turned away Saturday because the foreigners gave military and immigration officials conflicting stories for entering the country.

He said that some Cambodians were saying they were headed to northern Malaysia for employment, but others said the group was going to southern Thailand for Islamic schooling.

The Cambodians were told that violence in Thailand's three southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat made the area unsuitable for outside visitors at this time.

Since January of 2004, more than a thousand people have been killed in the three Muslim-majority provinces of mainly Buddhist Thailand.

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