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Thai Police Deported 97 Monks to Bu

Subject: Thai Police Deported 97 Monks to Burma

 .c The Associated Press 

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- Authorities raided two temples and on Wednesday
deported 97 Buddhist monks to Burma for illegally entering Thailand,
immigration police said. 

The Bangkok temples, Wat Prok and Wat Dawn, were raided Tuesday and the
ethnic Mon monks were charged with illegal entry, an immigration police
spokesman said on condition of anonymity. 

The monks were brought Wednesday to a checkpoint on the Thai-Burma border,
then were sent to Mon state in Burma, he said. 

Wat Prok and Wat Dawn have been raided repeatedly during the past several
years as Thailand has improved relations with Burma's military government and
withdrawn support rebellious ethnic groups in Burma. 

The Mon in Thailand regard themselves as refugees; the Thai government views
them as illegal immigrants. 

AP-NY-01-29-97 1239EST