msa August 9, 2013

ABC News

BANGKOK August 9, 2013 (AP)

Thirty Muslim Rohingya asylum seekers from Myanmar detained in southern Thailand for illegally entering the country escaped from a police jail cell on Friday, 10 days after they were moved from a crowded detention center, police said.

More than 1,700 asylum seekers from Myanmar’s beleaguered Rohingya minority who arrived in Thailand by boat early this year are being held in crowded prisons. The 30 who escaped are among hundreds who protested last month against the cramped conditions.

The men used blades to cut the cell’s bars and used ropes made of clothes to escape from the Sadao district police station in Songkhla province early Friday, Police Maj. Gen. Suwit Choensiri said.

He said police found the cell empty when they brought up food and water.

“These men had been making noise and sang loudly every night since they got here. We suspect they were trying to drown out the noise from cutting the bars,” Suwit said by telephone.

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