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Stranded Chinese sailors in Thailand may return Friday

(Xinhua)

10:06, October 14, 2011

CHIANG SAEN, Thailand, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese sailors and their family members aboard, who were stranded in northern Thailand after two ships were attacked last week, may start to return to China on Friday, officials said Thursday.

According to preliminary plans, all the stranded sailors, their family members and the ships will return to China on Friday by water, said Shi Minghui, head of a team of officials dispatched by the government of Southwest China's Yunnan Province to Chiang Saen to help with works related to last Wednesday's attack.

The attack, which occurred on the Chiang Saen section of Mekong River, left 11 Chinese sailors dead and one missing.

Shi's words were confirmed by Liu Guangsheng, a liaison sent to Chiang Saen by the Chinese Embassy in Thailand.

Out of safety concerns, 164 people, including sailors and their family members, have been living aboard 26 ships on Mekong River in Chiang Saen since the attack.

Relatives of the killed and missing sailors will arrive in Chiang Saen Thursday night. Then, DNA tests will be conducted to confirm the identities of the bodies.

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