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As Cambodians flee, Thailand denies policy to 'sweep and clean' illegal migrants

Published on Jun 16, 2014 4:22 PM
 
Cambodian workers travel by train as they prepare to migrate back to Cambodia at Aranyaprathet train station in Sa Kaew on June 15, 2014. Thailand's junta denied on Monday, June 16, 2014 that they were pursuing a "sweep and clean" policy of driving illegal foreign workers out of the country. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thailand's junta denied on Monday that they were pursuing a "sweep and clean" policy of driving illegal foreign workers out of the country, despite mass departures by fearful Cambodians since the military took power last month.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that more than 100,000 undocumented Cambodian men, women and children have fled Thailand amid fears of a crackdown on illegal labour sine the May 22 coup.

The military's ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) insists Cambodians are leaving of their own accord and said 60,000 had crossed the border as of Saturday. It estimates there were 90,000 illegals in Thailand.

Highways leading to the Cambodian border were packed on Sunday with trucks and buses full of Cambodian workers opting to head home rather than face any confrontation with Thai authorities.

 
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