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UN: Resettlement of Burmese Refugees from Thailand Tops 30,000

The United Nations says more than 30,000 Burmese refugees living in Thailand have been sent to third countries in what it calls the world's largest resettlement operation.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says the number of departures since the resettlement program began reached 30,144 this week.

The agency says about two-thirds of the Burmese refugees have gone to the United States. It says Australia and Canada have each received several thousand, and that Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom have also accepted some refugees.

The U.N. refugee agency says nearly all of the Burmese refugees who resettled had been living in camps along the Thai-Burmese border - some for nearly two decades - since fleeing fighting and oppression in Burma.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.